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Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy, Microscopy

Drawn to the Light

What was your route into spectroscopy?

I’ve always been intrigued by how electromagnetic radiation interacts with matter – and the whole idea of being able to use those signals to tell us something about the material and, in particular, a sample. As an undergrad doing electrochemistry, I was actually more interested in –  astonished by, in fact – how much information spectroscopic techniques can generate. So, when I went to grad school, I was grateful to have my first shot at using fluorescence spectroscopy to work on biological problems with Linda McGowan. That led me to a postdoc with Gary Hieftje, where I discovered an entirely new world – every kind of spectroscopy you could imagine! Some years later, I took a very useful and exciting sabbatical with Chuck Eckert – a chemical engineer at Georgia Tech – that opened up a whole new vista of research that we worked on for almost 20 years. Essentially, we wanted to understand how supercritical fluids solvate molecules, and how they solvate surfaces, which has ramifications for extraction, separations, and so on.

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About the Author

Frank Bright

Henry M. Woodburn Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, New York.

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