Katie Warfel '17, chemical engineering
For my summer research, I analyzed organic particles that were produced from solutions using monodisperse droplet evaporation technology. Monodisperse droplet evaporation is achieved using a Vibrating Orifice Aerosol Generator (VOAG). The VOAG produces droplets from a solution, which then rapidly evaporate in a collection column, leaving particles to be examined. Molecular particles play an important role in many different industries, but this research focuses on pharmaceutical applications. I looked specifically at two characteristics that impact the performance of particles, morphology and internal structure. The morphology refers to the surface properties and the specific shape that a particle exhibits that affects particle functionality and its ability to be processed. The internal structure (arrangement of the molecules in the solid state) affects the stability and solubility of a particle and therefore its bioavailability. I characterized the internal structure and morphology of particles formed from solutions of dicarboxylic acids in organic solvents using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Through the Bucknell Program for Undergraduate Research, I had the opportunity to experience full-time research and become more confident with independent work. Conducting research this summer with Professor Ryan Snyder has been very rewarding, and I look forward to continuing to work on this project.