September 2007-August 2008
Level of Access
The University of Maine's Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology (LASST) proposes to purchase a high performance X-ray Diffraction (XRD) system to provide critical information about the structural properties of materials at the atomic, molecular, and nanometer scale. The versatile instrument will be composed of an X-ray generator, X-ray mirrors and lenses, a hybrid monochromator, a high resolution goniometer and sample cradle, slits and collimators, a fast multichannel detector and Xe proportional counter, and a high temperature sample stage. Specific measurement capabilities of the XRD system will include phase analysis, high resolution reciprocal space mapping, pole figure analysis, rocking curve analysis, reflectometry, stress and texture analysis, and topography. State-of-the-art XRD capabilities will be especially valuable to research programs at LASST pertaining to (i) semiconductor gas sensor films and ceramic coatings, (ii) novel piezoelectric single crystals for acoustic wave devices and sensors, and (iii) mesoporous and nanoporous materials for chemical detection and chemical separation. Other materials research projects that will benefit from high resolution XRD analysis include microsystem components and bio-MEMS devices, biomaterials and protein structures, dielectrics for microelectronics, paper coatings, composite materials, nanoparticle probes, cement-based materials, zeolites, and metal catalysts.
University of Maine researchers propose to acquire a state-of-the-art X-ray Diffraction (XRD) Materials Analysis System to investigate the structure of the surfaces of thin film coatings, sensors, and other materials being developed in their laboratory. Detailed information about atomic bonding in materials will enable development of next generation chemical sensors to detect toxic chemicals in the environment, novel protective ceramic coatings for ultra-high temperatures, improved high frequency electronic materials, and membranes for chemical detection and separation. This research will be conducted by UMaine undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, visiting scientists, and collaborators from other colleges and universities, industries, non-profit research institutions, and Maine's public schools. The system will be located in the Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology (LASST), an interdisciplinary research center that brings together UMaine expertise from physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and biological engineering to solve problems related to surfaces, interfaces, thin films, microdevices, and nanostructured materials. The proposed system, the only of its kind in the State of Maine, will be used in projects with Maine high-tech companies and several start-up companies incubated from LASST research in sensor technology. Educational outreach workshops and demonstrations will be used to teach technology concepts to the general public, middle and high school teachers, high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students participating in other NSF-funded training activities at UMaine.
Lad, Robert J., "MRI: Acquisition of a Multi-User X-ray Diffraction System for Advanced Materials Analysis" (2008). University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Grant Reports. 358.