Elaine DiMasi studies biological mineralization and crystal growth at the organic interface. Synchrotron x-ray scattering, including time resolved and in-situ measurements of mineralization, clarifies the importance of the molecular template for biominerals and gives unique access to submicron structures. Scanning probe microscopy studies of cultured cell/protein systems reveal the subtle changes in molecular architecture at very early mineralization time points. Recent directions include image charge effects on protein reorganization and calcium spectroscopy at the nanoscale, and microstructure-function relationships in biological minerals.
At the NSLS-II facility DiMasi leads the beamline development group for the Soft Matter Interfaces beamline. SMI will enable surface-sensitive measurements of the structure of liquids and soft materials, and will see first light in 2017.
Previously, DiMasi has managed scheduling, operations, and instrumental upgrades for NSLS Beamlines X22B and X6B and APS Beamline 9ID, and participated in development teams for NSLS Beamlines X13B and X1A1, along with the NSLS-II Beamlines CMS and SMI. Particular expertise is in x-ray reflectivity, microbeam imaging, and other surface methods. On sabbatical at LBL's Molecular Foundry during 2011, DiMasi investigated lipid films and calcium compounds using STXM and AFM.