Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS)
The Center for Structure Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS) brings together a cross-disciplinary team of engineers and scientists, as well as industry leaders, to improve the way pharmaceuticals, foods and agricultural products are manufactured. C-SOPS will focus on advancing the scientific foundation for the optimal design of SOPS with advanced functionality while developing the methodologies for their active control and manufacturing. Joining Rutgers University in the Center are Purdue University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, schools with established teaching and research programs in engineering, pharmaceutical sciences and technology.
Catalyst Manufacturing Center
The Catalyst Manufacturing Center focuses on innovative research for the manufacturing of catalysts, and the education of a new generation of researchers in theoretical tools that can be applied to catalyst manufacturing. Catalysts are essential for many industrial processes, ranging from catalytic converters to the production of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Catalyst manufacturing processes are often designed relying on empiricism, leading to sub-optimal processes, decreased quality, and increased cost. By combining the substantial level of expertise in particle technology, optimization, multi-scale simulation, catalysis and molecular modeling available at Rutgers, we are developing science-based methods for designing and optimizing catalyst manufacturing operations such as impregnation, drying and calcination.
Labs and Facilities
Our research facilities are among the finest in the world and include instrumentation and equipment for conducting both undergraduate/graduate research and education.
Asefa laboratory has synthetic equipment to prepare nanomaterials, including vacuum lines, centrifuges, ultrasonicators, rotavaps, and Millipore water purification system, ovens and several eight-step temperature programmable tube furnaces (various models).
The laboratory additionally has a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) (Q500, TA Instruments) to study the composition of the materials; gas-chromatograph – mass spectrometer (GC-MS, HP 5972); a gas chromatograph (GC, Agilent) equipped with different types of columns to allow detection of various samples; a potentiostat (PAR 273A, Princeton Applied Research) equipped with a Faraday cage, and all the necessary software to do impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, photoelectrochemistry, etc., a UV-Vis-NIR spectrometer (Lambda 950, PerkinElmer) for optical absorption measurements of samples in solution, in solid-state or and in thin film form with wavelength up to the near infrared region (200-3000 nm wavelength); and a gas adsorption instrument (Micromeritics Tristar 3000) for measurement of low relative pressure and high resolution surface area, for determination of pore diameter and pore size distribution of nanoporous materials.
Experimental Resources: The catalysis and reaction engineering laboratories include a gas-phase kinetic reactors for evaluation of solid catalysts at ambient and moderate pressures using gas chromatography (Agilent 7890B GC with FID and TCD detectors) and mass spectrometry (Agilent 5977A GCMS) for steady-state and temporal reaction product analysis and product identification. In situ spectroscopy allows for study of solid samples under reaction conditions and reactant gas flows, including transmission and diffuse-reflectance infrared spectroscopy (Thermo Nicolet iS50 FTIR) and diffuse reflectance UV-visible spectroscopy (Thermo Evolution 300).
Additional resources in related labs include high-pressure liquid chromatography, gas adsorption, scanning and tunneling electron microscopies, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, solid-state magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
Computational Resources: We have constructed an 18 node Beowulf-class computing cluster with dual core processors, 4 TB of storage space, and a 1 Gbps network. Additionally, we have access to several computing clusters on campus, including the Rutgers Engineering Computational Cluster (30 dual core nodes), the School of Engineering computing cluster (48 16-core nodes, InfiniBand network), and the CBE computing cluster (8 16-core nodes, InfiniBand network). All clusters are equipped with MPI for parallel computing.
The Glycans, Glycoconjugates, & Glycan Active Enzymes Engineering Laboratory led by Dr. Chundawat at Rutgers is focused on glycans (or carbohydrates), carbohydrate-active enzymes and their application to bioenergy, biomedical, and biomaterials relevant problems. Brief descriptions of the facilities and instrumentation available in the Chundawat research group are listed here. The laboratory space (total area ~1200 square feet) is available in a renovated facility at the school of engineering dedicated for biochemical and biomedical engineering focused research. Some of the general purpose equipment and facilities available include: multiple temperature-controlled incubator shakers for bacterial and yeast cultivation; large ovens (37oC, 100oC); spectrophotometers, tabletop and large volume centrifuges; flask/plate shakers for large-scale bacterial culture preparations; 4oC large deli fridge; -20oC and -80oC large freezers; analytical weighing scales, pH meter, microwave, water baths; UV transilluminators, DNA and protein gel imaging systems, electroporator, Eppendorf thermal cyclers, and DNA/protein gel boxes sufficient for standard molecular cloning and protein expression analysis, sonicator, gel blotter; Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) chamber and illuminator for glycan characterization; and glassware/reactor equipment for carbohydrate/biomass pretreatment chemistry and chemical synthesis. The lab has access to biosafety hoods, ice machine, dishwasher/dryer, large autoclaves, and water purifier systems that are maintained by the department. Several general-purpose desktop computers are available in the lab and offices for accessing relevant software such as Rosetta/FoldIt (computational protein design software), Pymol (Macromolecule Visualization), Geneious (Bioinformatics), Matlab (Modeling), Aspen Plus (Process Simulations), and Mendeley (Bibliography Management).
Analytical equipment available in the Chundawat lab
- Multi-Mode Microplate Readers: (1) Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5e, (2) Tecan Infinite Pro
- Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC) systems with Autosampler/Fraction Collectors: (1) Bio-Rad NGC Quest Plus, (2) GE Healthcare AKTA Prime and Explorer FPLC series
- High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Systems: (1) Shimadzu HPLC with auto injector, refractive index and diode array detectors. (2) Agilent 1100 Series HPLC with auto injector, online degasser, quaternary pumps, Diode Array, Fluorescence and ELSD detectors.
- Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (MS) Detector: Thermo Finnigan LTQ MS/MS with ESI/APCI modes
- Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) Biosensor System: Biacore Q SPR
- High performance imaging systems: (1) Olympus inverted microscope for fluorescence/optical microscopy, (2) Lumicks Acoustic Force Spectroscope (AFS) system.
The objective of the Computational Hybrid Soft Materials Laboratory's research program is to develop computational methodologies to enable the design, conception and prediction of novel materials with controllable kinetics and thermodynamics, which can be used to guide the design of experimental systems for applications in drug delivery, medicine, sensing, sustainability and energy.