MSE alum, a DOE research award recipient, gained experience at the National Synchrotron Light Source II during his PhD studies at Lehigh, working with noted glass researcher Prof. Himanshu Jain

Materials science and engineering alum Evan Musterman '21G '23 PhD recently became a postdoctoral researcher at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility within Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. His journey from Lehigh PhD student to postdoc at the Submicron Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy (SRX) beamline is the subject of a feature story, "Imparting Glass with New Properties," published by Brookhaven.

Musterman recieved funding through the DOE’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program that supported a nine-month stint at the national lab as part of his PhD work, which was co-advised by MSE professor Himanshu Jain, Lehigh’s T.L. Diamond Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Applied Science. Since 2018, Lehigh and Brookhaven have partnered to spark collaborations using NSLS-II, "a state-of-the-art, medium-energy electron storage ring [that] provides extremely powerful electromagnetic radiation that enables researchers to study the fundamental properties of matter on a scale not previously possible."

During his initial period at NSLS-II, the story says, Musterman, who is "interested in what happens to glass as it crystallizes under the intensity of a laser," was considering questions such as "How does it “know” when to crystallize? What is happening to the glass just before crystallization occurs?"

Today, "Musterman is continuing some of his SCGSR work as well as starting a new project: making x-ray diffraction (XRD) mapping a new capability at SRX. XRD mapping is a way of obtaining enhanced structural information from a sample via a pixel-by-pixel scan.

“As a postdoc, I am building upon the skills and experience I gained during my SCGSR award period, both by working with and learning from the glass crystallization data I obtained and, hopefully, bringing XRD mapping to the SRX users,” he says in the story.

In the long term, Musterman "aims to use his research to impart glass with specific optical or electronic properties, which could help lead to brand-new uses for glass in emerging technologies."

Read the full story in the Brookhaven National Laboratory Newsroom. 

Photo credit: Kevin Coughlin/Brookhaven National Laboratory