Limerick-born Prof Margaret Murnane will be given the award for the science, technology and innovation award, which will be presented to her in the US. Prof Murnane is regarded as being one of the leading optical physicists of her generation. She is Director of the National Science Foundation STROBE Science and Technology Center on functional nano-imaging, a fellow at JILA and Distinguished Professor at the Department of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado.
New imaging technique may lead to improved functionality of devices such as PCs, smartphones.
The chips that drive everyday electronic gadgets such as personal computers and smartphones are made in semiconductor fabrication plants. These plants employ powerful transmission electron microscopes. While they can see physical structures smaller than a billionth of a meter, these microscopes have no way of seeing the electronic activity that makes the devices function. That may soon change, thanks to a new imaging technique developed by UCLA and University of Southern California researchers. This advance may enable scientists and engineers to watch and understand the electronic activity inside working devices, and ultimately improve their functionality.
The study, which was published online in Physical Review Applied, was led by Chris Regan, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute.
An innovative infrared-light probe with nanoscale spatial resolution has been expanded to cover previously inaccessible far-infrared wavelengths.
The ability to investigate heterogeneous materials at nanometer scales and far-infrared energies will benefit a wide range of fields, from condensed matter physics to biology.
Friday, October 5, 2018 – Last night CO-LABS presented JILA’s ultrafast imaging team, led by Fellows Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, the 2018 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research.
Murnane and Kapteyn were honored for their work in revolutionizing ultrafast and nanoscale imaging through the research and development of tabletop x-ray sources. These advancements enable real-time imaging of the structure, chemistry, and dynamics of materials at the level of small collections of atoms. The applications range from improving semiconductor devices and magnetic storage to understanding the fundamental physics and chemistry of complex materials. By designing, developing, and eventually enabling the availability of this technology through KM-Labs, Murnane and Kapteyn have enabled many curious researchers to further their discoveries.
Brilliant discoveries from the realms of clean energy chemistry, profound advances in disease diagnosis, astounding fundamental atomic physics shaping global nanotechnology and surprising results of “everyday” consumer activities affecting atmospheric pollution the CO-LABS 10th Anniversary Awards event was another fantastic celebration of scientific discovery! This premier scientific research recognition event in Colorado included 200 researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials as we celebrated the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutes.
Diffraction refers to a variety of phenomena occurring when a wave encounters an obstacle and bends around it. Diffractive optics are widely used today in imaging, holography, microscopy and manufacturing. Previous work has shown that extending diffractive optics from two dimensions to three dimensions enables new functionality and improves system performance. The paper suggests a way to make the two-dimensional waves three-dimensional in real time with a simple modification to existing devices controlled with a computer.
The fact that Nico Hernandez-Charpak found his way to a STEM-based career is not surprising at all. In fact, it’s in his blood. His father, who is of Colombian descent, is an engineer. His mother, who is French, is a doctor. His grandfather is a physicist. “My family were my role models. Of course, they played a big role.”
Researchers from UCLA and Washington University in St. Louis have discovered the previously unknown mechanism of how proteins from Plasmodium parasites — which cause malaria — are exported into human red blood cells, a process that is vital for parasites to survive in humans. The finding could pave the way for new treatments for malaria.
Murnane, Kapteyn and their colleagues from JILA, a joint-institute of CU Boulder and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), earned a nod for their years of efforts to wrangle X-ray light.
The group debuted the world’s first tabletop X-ray laser in 2007. Today, these devices can shoot out pulses of radiation at a millionth of a billionth of a second—fast enough for scientists to image molecules in the act of forming and breaking chemical bonds. In addition to peering at the workings of atoms, such lasers may also enable new types of semiconductors and medical technologies like CT scans.
To commercialize their inventions, Murnane and Kapteyn launched the company KMLabs in the 1990s. The husband and wife team also help to lead the STROBE National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. Among other activities, STROBE supports undergraduate students at six universities, including CU Boulder, to “advance imaging science and technology and build the microscopes of the future.”
“The quantum technologies and microscopes that the STROBE team and our group are developing are allowing us to understand how advanced materials work—the materials that will be used for next-generation energy-efficient and lightweight nanotechnologies,” said Murnane and Kapteyn, both professors in the Department of Physics. “We are also passionate about growing high-tech employment opportunities in Colorado.”
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded new Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) grants to support eight collaborations across the United States aimed at fostering cutting-edge materials research while increasing diversity.
The Fort Lewis College and Norfolk State University STROBE Science and Technology Center will focus on advanced imaging and characterization of functional nanomaterials. Fort Lewis College is a Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution, and additionally serves a significant Hispanic population. The PREM framework elements of this project will provide undergraduate students access to research mentors, guided research experiences, professional development activities, a peer support network and leadership opportunities.