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Bruker Awards Scholarship
Dec 2007
BOSTON, Nov. 29, 2007 -- Michelene E. Miller, a PhD candidate at Alfred University, was awarded a scholarship by Bruker AXS during the 2007 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting, held last week at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Organizers said about 5000 attended the meeting, which features technical symposia and an international exhibit highlighting products and services of interest to the materials community,

Also recognized at the meeting were Nobel Laureate Harold Kroto, a chemistry professor at Florida State University, with the inaugural Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience; Omar M. Yaghi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, with the 2007 MRS Medal Award for his pioneering work on metal-organic frameworks; William Nix, professor emeritus, Stanford University, with the Von Hippel Award for interdisciplinary materials research; and Ramamoorthy Ramesh, a University of California, Berkeley, materials science, engineering and physics professor, with the 2007 MRS Turnbull Lectureship for his contributions to understanding materials phenomena and properties through research, writing and lecturing.

Bruker AXS, a provider of x-ray systems for life and advanced materials sciences, awards the $6000 Excellence in X-ray Diffraction (XRD) scholarship annually for unique experiments performed by university students. Miller's research paper submission was “Novel Processing of Microporous Glass-Ceramics for Gas Separation.” She is advised by Scott T. Misture, PhD, A professor of materials science at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, N.Y). X-ray scattering (XRS) is a nondestructive technique for analyzing materials including fluids, metals, minerals, polymers, catalysts, plastics, pharmaceuticals, thin-film coatings, ceramics and semiconductors. XRD and XRS are used in applications such as materials investigation, characterization and quality control; e.g., in qualitative and quantitative phase analysis, crystallography, structure and relaxation determination, texture and residual stress investigations, controlled sample environment, microdiffraction, nanomaterials, lab- and process automation, and high-throughput polymorph screening.

“Using high-temperature XRD, we determined that nickel-doped cordierite glass-ceramics are candidates for application as permeability-controlled microporous membranes to separate out carbon dioxide and hydrogen gases in fossil fuel power plants, both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating hydrogen,” Miller said in a statement.

Misture's group studies the dynamic behavior of oxide ceramics and glasses related to energy conversion devices. Projects generally rely on detailed in-situ characterization using x-rays and neutrons to understand the relationships between structure and properties. Their recent work has focused on the effects of atmosphere and humidity on structure, phase stability and conductivity at high temperatures. Their current research focuses on materials for solid oxide fuel cells and hydrogen production. Funded by the NSF, DOE, EPA, and other agencies, their work centers on solid oxide fuel cells and photocatalysts.

Qian Zhang, a PhD student at the University of Montreal, was runner-up for his research paper on physical and optical studies of azo-surfactomesogen/polyelectrolyte complexes. He is advised by C. Geraldine Bazuin of the University of Montreal’s Department of Chemistry, whose research concentrates on the development of novel supramolecular and nanostructured polymeric materials.

“Our particular areas of interest include liquid crystalline materials, block copolymers, blends, ionomers, nanopatterns on surfaces, ultrathin films and applications in optoelectronics and gene delivery,” Bazuin said.

The scholarship winner and runner-up were selected by an independent panel of judges: Tom Blanton, a researcher for Eastman Kodak; Jim Kaduk, associate research scientist at INEOS Technologies Analytical Science Research Services (formerly Innovene, BP and Amoco) and current board chairman of the International Centre for Diffraction Data; Pam Whitfield, a researcher for National Research Council Canada; Jim Britten, a chemistry professor at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario); and Nattamai Bhuvanesh, a Texas A&M University chemistry professor.

Bruker AXS has published student papers submitted to the MRS for the annual meeting on a being distributed to meeting attendees, scientists and research libraries.

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