Lehigh University partners with Brookhaven National Laboratory, the first of its kind between NSLS-II and an academic research institution
In a 600,000 square-foot facility less than a three-hour drive from Lehigh University sits a machine with the engineering prowess to literally illuminate new scientific discoveries.
The nearly billion-dollar experimental station known as the National Synchrotron Light Source-II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory provides extremely bright x-rays for basic and applied research. Researchers in nanotechnology, biology, medicine and the material, physical, chemical and environmental sciences use the NSLS-II to study atomic-scale processes in real time.
Lehigh’s newly formed Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD) has partnered with Brookhaven. The collaboration is the first of its kind between NSLS-II and an academic research institution.
"We intended this workshop to be the starting point for a closer interaction of Lehigh researchers and our facility NSLS-II at Brookhaven," said Juergen Thieme, the Science Coordinator for the Imaging and Microscopy Program in the Photon Division at Brookhaven. "The response to our presentations and the excitement in the one-on-one discussions about possible experiments showed us that there is great potential for NSLS-II being able to contribute crucially to the research performed at Lehigh. I am really looking forward to a closer collaboration between our two institutions."
Innovative new materials and devices will be the solution to many challenges facing society, from implementing large scale renewable energy sources, securing food, energy and fresh water for all, detecting and treating disease, and pushing the frontiers in microelectronics and photonics. Creating these solutions will require collaboration between scientists and engineers with diverse expertise to not only develop and synthesize new materials, but to incorporate them into devices at scales from the nano to macro, and implement routes to industrial scale manufacturing and implementation.
The I-FMD partnership with Brookhaven accomplishes exactly that.
NSLS-II generates light by accelerating a beam of electrons around a building formed into the shape of a ring, with a circumference of a half mile. Electrons accelerate to 99 percent of the speed of light, yielding unprecedented resolution to characterize materials at the nanoscale.
Earlier this month, more than 75 faculty members from nine departments from both the Rossin College and the College of Arts and Sciences gathered to brainstorm ideas for experiments to be used in collaboration with Brookhaven.
"The workshop led by Brookhaven beamline leaders has already brought together faculty and students who are ready to submit joint beamtime proposals for experiments there, " said Himanshu Jain, director of the I-FMD. "Watching faculty and grad students learning together from the visitors was very exciting...it is a landmark in our efforts to develop a culture of interdisciplinary research."