MSE Doctoral Student Takes Second Place in Spectroscopy Challenge

Anna Gonzalez Rosell (pictured) shares second place prize in the Spectroscopy Application Challenge with her adviser Stacy Copp.

Oct. 25, 2022 - Anna Gonzalez Rosell, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering, has won second place in StellarNet, Inc.’s 2022 Spectroscopy Application Challenge, along with her adviser, assistant professor Stacy Copp.

The Spectroscopy Application Challenge rewards scientists from around the world who submit research using the most enlightening applications of light measurement spectroscopy. StellarNet awards the top three winners with funds that can be used toward purchase of StellarNet’s spectroscopy equipment.

Gonzalez Rosell and Copp are investigating DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters, a new kind of nanomaterial with great potential as fluorescent markers for bioimaging. DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters are unique because the DNA sequence of the molecule used to stabilize the silver nanocluster determines the size and fluorescence color of the nanocluster (acting like a “genome” for a nanomaterial). These silver nanoclusters’ light emission in the near-infrared can be much brighter than organic dyes, which are currently the most common markers for bioimaging. Biological tissues and fluids are more transparent to near-infrared light than to visible light, and near-infrared biomarkers could enable promising approaches to noninvasive deep tissue imaging with applications ranging from cancer research and detection to cardiovascular monitoring.

The ($1,500) award will help the Copp lab purchase a new near-infrared spectrometer, crucial to studying the luminescence of the promising nanoclusters.

- Rachel Karas