26-Oct-2009 - Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne dedicates new microscopy facility at Center for Nanoscale Materials

Research may lead to energy efficient engines, advanced medical therapy

The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory dedicated its new scanning probing microscopy building recently during its annual users conference. The new building will house a new scanning probe microscope that measures spin-polarized electrons on surfaces. "The spin-polarized scanning probing microscope (LT-SPM) is a wonderful addition to the many tools available to researchers at the CNM," said interim CNM director Derrick Mancini. "Nanomagnetism is a burgeoning field, and the LT-SPM will provide the most cutting-edge technology for this research." Nanomagnetism research using the LT-SPM may lead to more energy-efficient motors, advanced information storage, processing prototype devices, advanced medical therapy and biomagnetic sensing concepts. The LT-SPM is a multi-functional scanning probe microscope devoted to the high-resolution properties of spin-polarized surfaces at high magnetic fields (9 T) and low temperatures (4.2 K). This state-of-the-art instrument expands the CNM programs in nanomagnetism and nanoferroelectrics. The building cost $1.5 million and was paid for Institutional General Plant Project funds from the laboratory. The Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs), premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale, supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

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