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So far Lauren Mason has created 234 blog entries.

Congrats to Hong Zhou for Being Named a 2024 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Congratulations to professor Hong Zhou on being named a 2024 fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology! In addition to his role as a professor at UCLA MIMG, Zhou is the faculty director of the Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines (EICN), part of the CNSI Technology Centers.

In Feb., the American Academy of Microbiology (Academy) elected 65 new fellows to the Class of 2024. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. The Academy received 156 nominations for fellowship this year. There are over 2,600 fellows in the Academy representing all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and who are involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service.

Electron and Photon Detection for Microscopies

Seeing small things takes bright lights and great optics. But you still have to see something. This talk will discuss detectors for electron and X-ray microscopies: how they work, what are they challenges, and where are the opportunities. The competition is intense: the human eye has ~108 ‘pixels’ and a dynamic range of ~104 (and has a direct connection to a built-in neural processor). No camera today can match these specs (although we are getting close). The use of silicon as a sensing medium, together with the dramatic advances in microelectronics (“Moore’s law”) has transformed how we record images. Is detection a solved problem?

Congrats to Kwabena Bediako for Being Awarded a 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry

Congratulations to the Sloan Research Fellows of 2024. The following 126 early-career scholars represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Winners receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.

Research efforts in the Bediako Group involve the mesoscopic investigation of interfacial charge transfer and charge transport in two-dimensional (2D) materials and heterostructures. We emphasize the design of materials with modular interfaces that can be controlled at atomically precise length scales to study and overcome contemporary challenges in electrochemical energy conversion and quantum electronics.

Industrial Applications of Ultrafast Lasers II: Illustrative Examples

As a follow-up to Seminar I, I will discuss specific examples of fs UPS and photovoltage experiments on industrially relevant materials and stacks. Aside from single crystal Si wafers, virtually all materials found in MOS devices, photovoltaics, oxides, organic films (OLEDs, resists) and phase change materials, are polycrystalline or amorphous. Angle integrated UPS provides high count rates that increase sensitivity useful for identifying defect state densities in materials. Specific examples described in this seminar include the Pt/HfO2/Si MOS stack, the thin film earth abundant photovoltaic Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 -CZTS,Se and its interfaces with solution deposited CdS and high work function back contact MoO3, the Al2O3 tunnel barrier deposited on Al and Si, and the phase change material TiN/GeSbTe. In each of these cases, extracting the band bending in the underlying semiconductor provided fundamental information on device performance.  An example of spectroscopy on the organic LED (OLED) AlQ3 will be given.

Industrial Applications of Ultrafast Lasers I: Basic Physics and Examples

Critical to the design and development of present and future semiconductor and quantum devices is the full understanding of the electronic structure of the materials that comprise the complex functional stacks in a non-destructive way. In Seminars I and II, I will describe the application of femtosecond ultraviolet photoelectron and photovoltage spectroscopy (fs UPPS) to fully characterize the electronic structure of industrially important materials and devices. The addition of fs photovoltage spectroscopy, which extracts the underlying semiconductor substrate band bending provides virtually complete characterization of the electronic structure of complex device material stacks. This includes Fermi level location, valence band locations and offsets, oxide properties and charging as a function of processing, and tunnel barrier heights to name a few. In the first seminar I will describe the methodology and physics of this spectroscopic approach. In the Seminar II, I will describe specific material and device studies of key industrial interest; these include high-K/metal gate MOS devices, earth abundant thin film photovoltaics, the Al2O3 tunnel barrier utilized in quantum computing transmons, organic LEDs and phase change materials for neuromorphic/AI applications. Additional seminars, if interested would include further examples (earlier studies of electron dynamics at surfaces and interfaces) and femtosecond ablative photomask repair.

3D atomic details of next-generation alloys revealed for first time

Alloys, which are materials such as steel that are made by combining two or more metallic elements, are among the underpinnings of contemporary life. They are essential for buildings, transportation, appliances and tools — including, very likely, the device you are using to read this story. In applying alloys, engineers have faced an age-old trade-off common in most materials: Alloys that are hard tend to be brittle and break under strain, while those that are flexible under strain tend to dent easily.

Possibilities for sidestepping that trade-off arose about 20 years ago, when researchers first developed medium- and high-entropy alloys, stable materials that combine hardness and flexibility in a way in which conventional alloys do not. (The “entropy” in the name indicates how disorderly the mixture of the elements in the alloys is.)

Congrats to Nicholas Jenkins for Being Named as the 2024 Recipient of the SPIE Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship

Nicholas Jenkinshas been announced as the 2024 recipient of the $10,000 Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Siemens EDA — formally Mentor, a Siemens company — for potential contributions to advanced lithography or a related field. Jenkins will also be honored during 2024’s SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning conference.

The Nick Cobb scholarship recognizes an exemplary graduate student working in the field of lithography for semiconductor manufacturing. The award honors the memory of Nick Cobb, who was an SPIE Senior Member and chief engineer at Mentor. His groundbreaking contributions enabled optical and process proximity correction for IC manufacturing. Originally funded for three years ending in 2021, the Nick Cobb Scholarship will be awarded to one student annually for an additional period of three years, through 2024.

Jenkins is pursuing a PhD in Physics at JILA and the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU). His research, under the guidance of Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, focuses on the precise fabrication and metrology of nanomaterials and devices to advance science and technology in areas such as nanoelectronics and metamaterials. As a final-year PhD student, Jenkins leads several experimental campaigns to use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) scatterometry and imaging in order to more precisely measure the structure and composition of nanoscale objects. Jenkins received his BS in Physics, summa cum laude, from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, in 2018, and his MS in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2021. He won the 2022 Colorado Photonics Industry Student Poster Contest, is currently working on projects for Samsung, 3M, and the Moore Foundation, and excels in his commitment to mentoring others.

“I’m honored to receive the Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship and I’m excited for the opportunity to share my research with others in the field at the upcoming SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning meeting,” notes Jenkins. “The metrology community has continued to help push forward what humans are capable of on the nanoscale, and I’m glad to be part of the effort.”

Encoding information using optical imaging systems in the AI era

Abstract: The advent of artificial intelligence, particularly deep neural networks, is transforming the traditional criteria used to evaluate imaging systems. Increasingly, algorithms are used to process captured data, yielding outputs with little perceptual resemblance to its original form. This change broadens the scope of design possibilities while also creating a new challenge to define what constitutes a “good” imaging device when human interpretability is no longer a requirement. In this talk, we address this challenge using a probabilistic modeling approach, which can be used to quantify the information content of images captured under various conditions. We apply this framework to various imaging modalities, including label-free LED-array microscopy, lensless cameras, and single-shot 3D fluorescence microscopy, showing how it can directly evaluate performance without the need for labor-intensive post-processing algorithm development. This framework provides a new set of design principles uniquely tailored for the AI era.

Speaker Bio: I am a part-time postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley in the Computational Imaging Lab with Prof. Laura Waller in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, where I received my PhD in Computational Biology and MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. I am also the founder of Photomics, Inc., where I create open-source software for microscope control and label-free, computational microscopes. My research is focused on the design of hardware, software, and algorithms for data and information-driven design and control of optical microscopes. This work draws from many fields, including optical physics, machine learning, single-cell biology, immunology, software engineering, data science, computer vision, and information theory. More details can be found in the research section.

Imaging with multimode fiber endoscopes

Abstract:  In-vivo imaging through multimode fibers has been recently accomplished. Multimode fibers are attractive for endoscopic applications due to their thin cross-section, a large number of degrees of freedom, and flexibility. However modal dispersion and intermodal coupling preclude direct image transmission. The development of fast spatial phase control enables focus scanning and structured illumination for different novel imaging modalities. We discuss the implications of these techniques for ultrathin optical endoscopy.

Speaker Bio: Prof. Rafael Piestun received the Ingeniero Electricista degree from the Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and MSc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Technion – Israel. From 1998 to 2000 he was a researcher at Stanford University. Since 2001 he has been at the University of Colorado Boulder where is a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and in the Physics department. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, was a Fulbright scholar, an Eshkol fellow, received a Honda Initiation Grant award, a Minerva award, a Provost Achievement Award, and El-Op and Gutwirth prizes. He was associate editor of Optics and Photonics News and Applied Optics. He is founder of the company Double Helix Optics (SPIE Prism Award, First Place in the Luminate Competition) and the company Modendo Inc. His areas of interest include computational optical imaging, superresolution microscopy, volumetric photonic devices, scattering optics, and ultrafast optics.

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