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Use of CRADA with Indiana University Expands Research on Interconversion of Molecular Conformer Switches

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | July 16, 2018

Crane, Ind. - Utilizing a limited purpose CRADA, Dr. Jonathan Dilger, NSWC Crane's Director of Research, collaborated with Indiana University to expand on the basic research to understand the barriers for interconversion of molecular conformer switches for future sensor applications.  These gas-phase techniques can also carefully measure the energetic threshold for decomposition of any molecular ion, including those used as energetic materials.

An outcome of this particular partnership with a paper that was published within the Chemical Communications journal. This paper discussed the IR melting of proteins within an electrospray nanodroplet, where unfolding transitions are observed as the molecule changes shape prior to droplet desolvation.  The primary author on this paper, Tarick El-Baba, is a student within the laboratory of Distinguished Prof. David Clemmer in the Chemistry Department at Indiana University.  This is one of five collaborators on this research, including NSWC Crane, Bar-Ilan University, UC-Berkeley, and Texas A&M University.  Tarick has now advanced these thermal unfolding techniques to measure the energetic landscape of a molecular conformer switch in the gas-phase using tandem ion mobility (as a collaborator on my retinal chromophore research), and in solution as either bulk effects or within nanodroplets. 

NSWC Crane's Technology Transfer (T2) Program helps link federal research and development to academic institutions and businesses in the private sector. A CRADA provides the formal mechanism between the federal laboratory and partner collaborator. The NSWC Crane T2 program has partnerships with more than 100 businesses, individuals and universities. Currently, there are 104 active CRADAs and 236 active agreements.

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. NSWC Crane is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s warfighter.