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Expanding the Infrared Nanospectroscopy Window

October 26, 2018|ALSNews|

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.

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YouTube: 2018 Governor Awards for High Impact Research Winner

October 5, 2018|CO-LABS YouTube Channel|

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.

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YouTube: 2018 CO-LABS Governor Awards for High Impact Research Event

October 5, 2018|CO-LABS YouTube Channel|

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.

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Paper on diffractive optics shows 3D holograms become reconfigurable by computer

October 4, 2018||

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.

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Groundbreaking Gains: Latinx Individuals Blaze Trails in STEM and Inspire the Next Generation

September 18, 2018|Diversity in Action|

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.”

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UCLA-led study reveals the mechanism that helps malaria parasites take over human red blood cells

August 27, 2018|UCLA Newsroom|

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.

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JILA, CIRES, NOAA researchers honored with 2018 Governor’s Awards

August 24, 2018|CU Boulder Today|

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.”

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NSF awards forge partnerships between minority-serving institutions and leading research facilities

August 7, 2018|National Science Foundation News Release 18-056|

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.

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Fort Lewis College part of multimillion dollar partnership boosting diversity in materials science

August 7, 2018|FLC News|

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. Each award is expected to total nearly $4 million and will support a materials research partnership between a minority-serving institution (MSI) and a large-scale research facility supported by NSF’s Division of Materials Research (DMR).

The PREM for Functional Nanomaterials is led by the Department of Physics & Engineering at Fort Lewis College (FLC; a Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions), together with Norfolk State University (NSU; a member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and the STROBE NSF Science and Technology Center for Real-Time Functional Imaging headquartered at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The partnership will enhance the educational, research, and career preparation experiences around material science for all students, but particularly traditionally underrepresented populations.

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Three UCI School of Physical Sciences Faculty Earn Prestigious NSF Early Career Awards

July 25, 2018|UCI School of Physical Sciences Communications|

Franklin Dollar, Ph.D., assistant professor for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was awarded the prestigious five-year NSF grant valuing at $680,000 for his project titled CAREER: Coherent Laser Control for Compact Accelerators.

Dollar’s project supports a study of how to coherently control the physics of laser-driven particle accelerators by manipulating laser properties such as the laser wavefront. Advanced particle accelerators based on lasers have the potential to dramatically reduce the size and duration of such sources, and could have immediate applications in medical isotope production and radiography. This award will also support development of the Culturally relevant Accelerator Research and Engineering for Native Americans (CARE-NA) program, which will train students with broad practical skillsets with ties to community and culture.

“This project is one of those high-risk, high-return endeavors the NSF Division of Physics is particularly fond of supporting,” said National Science Foundation program officer Vyacheslav Lukin, who oversees Dollar’s CAREER grant. “We will look forward to seeing Dollar take this research from studies of underlying plasma physics and optics to breakthroughs that may enable tabletop accelerators — and their high-impact practical applications.”

“Accelerator science, and physics as a whole, can benefit tremendously from increased diversity and broad engagement with the public,” shared Dollar. “At UCI we wish to continue to lead in this arena across physical sciences.”

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