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Congratulations to Naomi Ginsberg for being elected as a 2021 APS Fellow

Congratulations to Naomi Ginsberg for being named a the innovative development of spatiotemporally resolved imaging and spectroscopy methods, and for their use in elucidating energy transport in hierarchical and heterogeneous materials, as well as in the formation and transformation of said materials.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the Society.

Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers. Each year, no more than one half of one percent of the Society’s membership (excluding student members) is recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Three-dimensional atomic packing in amorphous solids with liquid-like structure

Liquids and solids are two fundamental states of matter. Although the structure of crystalline solids has long been solved by crystallography, our understanding of the 3D atomic structure of liquids and amorphous materials remained speculative due to the lack of direct experimental determination. Now, a collaborative team from UCLA, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Brown University has advanced atomic electron tomography to determine for the first time the 3D atomic positions in monatomic amorphous materials, including a Ta thin film and two Pd nanoparticles. Despite different chemical composition and synthesis methods, they observed that pentagonal bipyramids are the most abundant atomic motifs in these amorphous materials. Contrary to traditional understanding, most pentagonal bipyramids do not assemble icosahedra, but are closely connected to form networks extending to medium-range scales. Molecular dynamics simulations further revealed that pentagonal bipyramid networks are prevalent in monatomic metallic liquids, which rapidly grow in size and form more icosahedra during the quench from the liquid to the glass state. These results expand our fundamental understanding of the atomic structure of amorphous solids and will encourage future studies on amorphous-crystalline phase and glass transitions in non-crystalline materials with three-dimensional atomic resolution.

3D imaging study reveals how atoms are packed in amorphous materials

Many substances around us, from table salt and sugar to most metals, are arranged into crystals. Because their molecules are laid out in an orderly, repetitive pattern, much is understood about their structure.

However, a far greater number of substances — including rubber, glass and most liquids — lack that fundamental order throughout, making it difficult to determine their molecular structure. To date, understanding of these amorphous substances has been based almost entirely on theoretical models and indirect experiments.

A UCLA-led research team is changing that. Using a method they developed to map atomic structure in three dimensions, the scientists have directly observed how atoms are packed in samples of amorphous materials. The findings, published today in Nature Materials, may force a rewrite of the conventional model and inform the design of future materials and devices using these substances.

Laboratoire Kastler Brossel seeks Postdoctoral Scholar for high-speed computational Raman microscopy

Background. Raman microscopy is a label-free chemically-selective technique with superb spatial
resolution. Even though technological developments in Raman microscopy are impressive in
terms of speed [1], there is still the issue of overwhelmingly large data sets generated, an aspect
that fundamentally precludes video-rate microspectroscopy. In recent years, we developed a set
of new computational microscopy tools exploiting paradigm shifts in signal processing
(Compressive Sensing) in order to achieve chemically selective imaging at high speeds. We coin
the set of methods compressive Raman microspectroscopy [2-6]: we design an experiment which
retrieves the same outcome as in traditional sensing, however performing considerably fewer
measurements. For that purpose, we develop novel spectrometers layout using fast digital
micromirror devices (DMD). Exploiting this emerging technology, we have shown record
acquisition speeds [3,4] and sensitivity [2] in various biomedical systems. Nevertheless, the
speeds are not compatible with highly dynamic specimens.

As a next step, we will further increase the acquisition speed to tackle motile biological systems.
The successful applicant will work on a new programmable spectrometer layout, in order to
increase the throughput of compressive Raman imaging, therefore reaching the necessary speed
to observe the formation of bacterial biofilms [7-8] in real time.

Candidate profile. In order to be successful in this interdisciplinary project, the candidate must
be highly motivated, independent and with a taste for interdisciplinary research. He/she should
have a PhD in Physics or Chemistry, preferable involving any of the following topics: optical
imaging, computational microscopy, optical computing, soft matter physics. Programming skills
are compulsory regardless of the language. Candidates from Life Sciences are also welcome to
apply, provided that the candidate has sufficient background in any topic of computational
microscopy, with additional hands-on experience with optical layouts.

Offer details. Initially, we will provide 1-year contract with potential for extension depending on
the evaluation of the project development. The position covers all social benefitsin France (health
care, pension system, etc.). Gross salary starts at 2500€ and will vary depending on the
experience. The position is to start as soon as possible.

How to apply. Applicants should submit CV, a brief motivation statement, and at least one contact
detail for requesting a recommendation letter, to: Dr. Hilton Barbosa de Aguiar, Complex Media
Optics Lab, Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel, 24 Rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, h.aguiar@lkb.ens.fr

References
[1] J.-X. Cheng and X. S. Xie, Science 350(6264), (2015)
[2] B. Sturm et al, ACS Photonics 6(6), 1409–1415 (2019)
[3] F. Soldevila et al, Optica 6(3), 341 (2019)
[4] C. Scotté et al, Anal. Chem. 90(12), 7197–7203 (2018)
[5] H. B. de Aguiar, BioPhotonics November/D, (2019)
[6] P. Berto et al, Opt. Lett. 42(9), 1696 (2017)
[7] P. Thomen et al, Soft Matter 16(2), 494–504 (2020)
[8] P. Thomen et al, PLoS One 12(4), e0175197 (2017)

STROBE Nano-imaging center receives five-year, $22 million renewal from NSF

The National Science Foundation has renewed for five years and more than $22 million the cutting-edge Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional Imaging (STROBE). STROBE is developing the Microscopes of Tomorrow, and is a partnership between six institutions –– University of Colorado Boulder, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Florida International University, Fort Lewis College, and UC Irvine.

STROBE is advancing functional electron and light-based microscopies by integrating advanced algorithms, big data analysis and adaptive imaging to address issues that have the potential to transform imaging science and technology.

“The Vision of STROBE is to transform nanoscale imaging science and technology by developing the microscopes of tomorrow,” according to Margaret Murnane and Jianwei “John” Miao, the Director and Deputy Director of STROBE. Miao is a professor of physics at UCLA, and member of UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute. Murnane is a Distinguished Professor at CU Boulder, and a Fellow of JILA, a joint institute between CU Boulder and NIST.

Group photo of STROBE center members at a retreat in November 2019.

Group photo of STROBE center members at a retreat in November 2019.

STROBE is pushing electron, X-ray and nano-optical imaging to their limits by integrating state-of-the-art microscopes, with advanced algorithms and big data. Multiscale and multimodal imaging of the same samples are needed to tackle major scientific challenges in quantum, energy, disordered and biological materials. Major scientific challenges include a fundamental understanding of how to design materials at the nanoscale to enable more efficient and robust nano, energy and quantum devices. Other important grand challenges include techniques for imaging disordered materials, or understanding how atoms rearrange themselves in 3-D during the glass transition. “Addressing these major scientific challenges requires the development of new multiscale microscopes and methods, and combining them with common samples, fast detectors, big data, advanced algorithms and machine learning — which could not be accomplished without a center,” Miao said.

STROBE also integrates cutting-edge research with education through the multidisciplinary training of a diverse workforce – with the important goal of preparing a diverse group of trainees for long-term STEM careers through coordinated team projects with academe, national laboratories and industry, new multidisciplinary degree programs, multiple opportunities for professional development and through long-term programs based on best practices for broadening participation in STEM. STROBE’s new techniques, algorithms and instrumentation are in high demand, and STROBE is engaging in multiple routes for knowledge transfer with 77 partners in the academic, national laboratories and industry sectors. Over 92 graduated student and postdoctoral scientists have graduated from STROBE, as well as >125 undergraduate scholars.

Prof. Naomi Ginsberg is the STROBE lead at UC Berkeley, Prof. Jessica Ramella-Roman leads the team at Florida International University, Prof. Kay Phelps is the lead at Fort Lewis College, while Prof. Franklin Dollar is the lead at UC Irvine.

NSF science and technology centers conduct innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects involving world-class research through partnerships among academic universities and industrial organizations in important areas of basic research. STROBE 77 partners span 43 academic, 22 industry and 7 national laboratories, including DOE, NIST, Moderna, 3M, SRC, Intel, AMD and Ball Aerospace.

See STROBE.colorado.edu

Congratulations to Kristina Monakhova for Receiving the EECS Demetri Angelakos Memorial Achievement Award

Presented annually to an Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences graduate student who is beyond the preliminary examination and is proceeding to a doctoral degree. The purpose of the award is to recognize students who, in addition to conducting research, unselfishly take the time to help colleagues beyond the normal cooperation existing between fellow students. The award was established in 1979 in memory of Demetri Angelakos, a UC Berkeley student working toward his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the time of his death.

The altruistic attitude of the recipient may be evidenced in the following ways: volunteering to conduct laboratory procedure sessions attended by colleagues, explaining intricate equipment usage, promoting greater research cooperation, etc. Because of the primary interests of the EECS graduate student in whose name the award was established, the general areas of solid state, optical electronics, electromagnetics and semiconductor electronics will be given first consideration.

Congratulations to Franklin Dollar for Receiving the Tom Angell Fellowship

The Tom Angell Fellowship is awarded annually at the Office of Inclusive Excellence’s Mentoring for Achievement and Excellence event, this fellowship is intended to honor Tom Angell’s contributions as the UCI Graduate Counselor to graduate student wellness and retention.

Awards are open to graduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars.

Award recipients demonstrate outstanding mentorship by going above and beyond their normal duties to create new opportunities to mentor UCI students.

Congratulations to Lauren Mason for Receiving a JEDI Award for her Work on the JILA Culture & Climate Project

Congratulations to Lauren Mason for receiving a JEDI Award, which is given to individuals who have demonstrated positive impact on JILA’s culture of inclusivity and diversity whether prolonged exemplary effort, leadership in impactful activities/goals or contributing to the inclusive and diverse culture of JILA in an extraordinary way. Lauren is working with the JEDI facilitator, Gayle Geschwind, JILA Chief of Operations, Beth Kroger, and JILA’s External Consultant, Regan Byrd to better understand JILA’s culture and climate through surveys and focus groups of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and staff. Phase two of the project will begin soon as JILA, in partnership with the JEDI committee, will begin implementing changes to address the needs voiced in the survey and focus groups.

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