Major Research Interests:
(I) Super-resolution Microscopy
We develop high-resolution optical microscopes to investigate biological questions. The resolution of optical microscopy has been limited to ~ 200 nm because of the diffraction limit. Recent developments in super-resolution microscopy has enabled scientists to resolve features as small as 10 nm and visualize cellular structures in unprecedented detail. Our current research is focused on virus-host interactions.
Heinkel, F. et al, “Phase separation and clustering of an ABC transporter in Mycobacterium tuberculosis”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A, 116, 33, 2018-20683RR (2019)
- Liu, Q. ; Chen, L. ; Aguilar, H. C. ; Chou, K. C. "A Stochastic Assembly Model for Nipah Virus Revealed by Super-Resolution Microscopy", Nature Communications, 9, 3050 (2018)
Highlighted: C. Hepp and N. C. Robb, "Coming together during viral assembly", Nature Reviews Microbiology, 16, 721 (2018)
- Tafteh, R. ; Abraham, L. ; Seo, D. ; Lu, H. Y. ; Gold, M. R. ; Chou, K. C. "Real-Time 3D Stabilization Of a Super-Resolution Microscope Using an Electrically Tunable Lens", Optics Express, 24, 22959-22970 (2016)
Related link: Biomedical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence
(II) Surface Properties of Water and Ice Nucleation
Water has a relatively simple molecular structure, but the interface of water is a very complex system. We study water interfaces relevant to environmental and industrial applications using nonlinear optical spectroscopy.
- "Transient Phase of Ice Observed by Sum Frequency Generation at the Water/Mineral Interface During Freezing", K. A. Lovering, A. K. Bertram, and K. C. Chou, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 8 (4), 871 –875 (2017)
- "Complex Formations Between Surfactants and Polyelectrolytes of The Same Charge on a Water Surface", Mafi, A. ; Hu, D. ; Chou, K. C., Langmuir, 33, 7940-7946 (2017)
- "Revisit the Thermodynamics of Water Surface in the Presence of Surfactants", D. Hu, A. Mafia, K. C. Chou, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 120 (9), 2257–2261 (2016)
- "Re-evaluating the Surface Tension Analysis of Polyelectrolyte-Surfactant Mixtures Using Phase-sensitive Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy", D. Hu and K. C. Chou, Journal of the American Chemical Society (Communication),136 (43), 15114 (2014)
- “Why Do Sulfuric Acid Coatings Influence the Ice Nucleation Properties of Mineral Dust Particles in the Atmosphere?”, Z. Yang, A. K. Bertram, and K. C. Chou, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2, 1232–1236 (2011)
(III) Petroleum Surface Chemistry
Canada’s oil sands reserves, which are estimated at 175 billion barrels, place Canada second in the world ranking of crude oil reserves. However, the large amount of water used in current bitumen extraction processes is a great concern, particularly as the industry is expected to grow over the next 20 years. Our research objective is to understand the competition adsorption of solvents, water, and bitumen on mineral materials to provide molecular-level information for developing a more environment-friendly extraction process. This research project has been funded by the Institute for Oil Sands Innovation located in the University of Alberta.
- Yang, Z. ; Nikakhtari, H. ; Wolf, S. ; Hu, D. ; Gray, M. R. ; Chou, K. C. "Binary Solvents With Ethanol For Effective Bitumen Displacement At Solvent/mineral Interfaces", Energy & Fuels, 29 (7), 4222–4226 (2015)
- Hu, D. ; Chou, K. C. "Surface Charge At The Bitumen/water Interface Investigated By Phase-Sensitive Sum Frequency Generation Vibrational Spectroscopy: Effects Of Ph, Ions, And Surfactants", Energy & Fuels, 29, 7885-7888 (2015)
Related link: Institute for Oil Sands Innovation
visitors since 2008