The principle aim of Soumi’s research is to investigate the self-assembly of small molecule amphiphiles such as glycolipids. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is an extremely important technique for the characterization of self-assembled morphologies. SAXS is widely applied to determine the microscale or nanoscale structures of ordered states of materials or particle systems. The X-ray source utilized for SAXS can be a laboratory source or synchrotron light. Compared to a conventional source, synchrotron light can produce a high brilliance, widely tunable electromagnetic radiation, which is ideal for the characterization of many organic and inorganic materials. To gain knowledge about SAXS and conduct experiments, Soumi visited the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, IL, and conducted research at the Advanced Photon Source (APS)! The APS is one of the World’s top synchrotron X-ray research facilities.
By visiting Argonne National Laboratory, Soumi received firsthand experience in conducting experiments on beamlines using high-energy X-rays from synchrotron light sources. Her experience and knowledge will further help her to gain fundamental insight into glycolipid self-assembly. Acquired knowledge could further be translated into designing amphiphiles to prepare diverse useful materials.