2018 Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) Program Participants & Projects

Student: Anna Banzer

Mentor: Johanna Nelson Weker

Project Title: X-ray Tomography of Commercial Lithium-ion Batteries During High-Rate Cycling

Project Description: This project focuses on utilizing synchrotron-based X-ray tomography to image morphological degradation in cylindrical automotive-grade Li-ion batteries during high-rate cycling. The student would be guided in how to reconstruct 3D volumes from the raw tomography data and extract relevant metrics such as void distribution and size. By imaging the structural damage in the battery jellyroll during cycling, we can understand how and why the batteries degrade under aggressive cycling to enable the development of fast-charging algorithms to optimize cell lifetime and charging time.   


Student: Kenneth Higginbotham

Mentor: Lance Dixon

Project Title: Bounding the Higgs width through interferometry at particle level

Project Description: There is an opportunity to measure the Higgs boson width in the diphoton decay channel by analyzing the apparent shift of the diphoton invariant mass peak. It has been pointed out by Dixon and Li that the reference mass may be obtained from a separate measurement of the same process in the high transverse momentum region. Due to the large radiative corrections in gluon fusion Higgs production, a reliable theoretical prediction of the transverse momentum spectrum, and with it the reference mass, must include all-order resummation. The project will estimate the uncertainty of such a prediction through detailed comparison of analytic NLL resummation and parton shower results.


Student: Sari Grossman

Mentor: Soichi Wakatsuki

Project Title: Development of time resolved cryo electron microscopy for multiscale bioimaging

Project Description: The recent advancement in cryo electron microscopy (CryoEM) has transformed structural biology, cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. It enables researchers to investigate structures of large to small macromolecules and their complexes without the need for crystallizing them for subsequent crystallographic analyses. CryoEM freeze-trap molecules on the grid for imaging, hence it is intrinsically a static imaging method although it can capture molecules in multiple conformations. Biological molecules and their systems often perform their function through the non-equilibrium states and as such understanding their dynamics and kinetics is critically important. In this project we will develop various methods to investigate macromolecular dynamics using time-resolved cryoEM, to initiate the reactions by introducing chemical, optical, or electronic stimuli and monitor the structural changes which follow. Several different ways will be investigated to initiate the reactions as uniformly as possible. The method will be applied to several dynamics processes such as CO2 fixation, bacterial growths, cell divisions etc.