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Recovery Act Provides Big Boost with a Nanoscale Focus

October 14, 2010 - 9:46am

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Editor's note: cross posted from the Brookhaven National Laboratory

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at Brookhaven National Laboratory is receiving more than $5 million in new equipment and upgrades funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The new acquisitions will fill gaps in the current facility to meet the needs of internal and user research.

“The ARRA funding provides crucial new capabilities in support of the CFN’s research and user mission,” said CFN scientist Eric Stach, leader of the electron microscopy group.

Stach will be working with a new electron microscope, one of seven ARRA-funded CFN additions. Unlike other microscopes at the Lab, this one will be capable of studying bio- and soft materials such as polymers, which are valuable in electronic and photovoltaic — solar cell — research. Stach said he’s glad that the need for routine instrumentation, like the new electron microscope, is being addressed.

“It’s often easier to ask for funding for something unusual or fancy, but the routine items are very important,” Stach said. “This is an easy-to-use instrument and one that we need to maximize our equipment.”

The rest of the ARRA-funded additions include three new instruments and three upgrades intended to fill gaps in the current facility.

“We’re very conscious of what our users want,” said Aaron Stein, a member of the CFN’s nanofabrication team. “We want to give our users a greater chance of success in their research so that they can produce high-quality work.”

Andy Oare is a New Media Specialist with the Office of Public Affairs.

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