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Bruker Awards Scholarships at MRS Meeting

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BOSTON, Dec. 1, 2006 -- Hsiu-Wen Wang, a geological sciences graduate student at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington, and Christian Long, a doctoral student with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Center for Superconductivity Research at the University of Maryland Department of Physics, were awarded 2006 Bruker AXS Excellence in X-ray Diffraction scholarships at the 2006 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting, being held this week at the Hynes Convention Center.

Bruker AXS manufactures x-ray systems for elemental analysis, materials research and structural investigations.

Wang, whose winning paper is "Dehydration/Rehydration Induced Phase Transitions in Natrolite," was advised in her research by David Bish, professor of applied clay mineralogy in the IU geology department.

Wang said, "My research involves a detailed study of how the crystal structure of the natural zeolite natrolite changes with temperature and the partial pressure of water. Crystal structure determinations using powder x-ray diffraction data are the key to clarify the structural changes responsible for observed symmetry changes and to pinpoint the phase-transition mechanism(s), not only for natrolite but also for other framework silicate minerals."

Ichiro Takeuchi, PhD, a professor affiliated with the Center for Superconductivity Research at the University of Maryland Department of Physics,accepts a Bruker AXS scholarship for Chris Long and the University of Maryland. (Photo: Business Wire)
Natrolite is a tectosilica mineral species belonging to the zeolite group; it occurs with other zeolites in the amygdaloidal cavities of basaltic igneous rocks. The best specimens are the diverging groups of white prismatic crystals found in compact basalt.

X-ray diffraction is a high-tech, nondestructive technique for analyzing a wide range of materials, including fluids, metals, minerals, polymers, catalysts, plastics, pharmaceuticals, thin-film coatings, ceramics and semiconductors. Throughout industry and research institutions, XRD has become an indispensable method for materials investigation, characterization and quality control. Example areas of application include 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.

Long's paper is entitled, "Rapid Structural Mapping of the Ternary Metallic Alloy Systems Using the Combinatorial Approach and Cluster Analysis." Long and his advisor, Ichiro Takeuchi, PhD, a professor affiliated with the Center for Superconductivity Research, describe his work as "extremely important in high-throughput materials science, where large number of samples are synthesized and measured simultaneously in order to dramatically increase the pace of materials discovery." The paper has been submitted to Review of Scientific Instruments and is awaiting review before publication.

Long said, "The idea behind this work was to make the process of looking at hundreds of diffraction spectra easier by taking the data set and filtering out all of the repeated information. Cluster analysis is a great tool for this, because we can use it to classify all of the diffraction patterns into discrete groups, and then represent each group with only a single diffraction pattern."

He said he will continue his graduate work on data visualization for combinatorial libraries and advanced microwave microscopy techniques. The University of Maryland has one of the largest research efforts in combinatorial materials science.

The winners of the $5000 scholarships were selected by an independent panel of judges: Tom Blanton, a senior principle scientist for Eastman Kodak; Jim Kaduk, an associate research scientist at INEOS Technologies Analytical Science Research Services (formerly Innovene, BP and Amoco) of Napier, Ill., head of XRD Laboratory there and president of the International Centre for Diffraction Data, based in Newtown Square, Pa.; Richard Matyi, a nanoscience professor at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at University at the Albany, State University of New York; National Research Council Canada Research Officer Pam Whitfield; Scott Misture, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.; and Nattamai Bhuvanesh, PhD, assistant manager of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University.

University of Western Ontario student Matt Izawa won an honorary mention on his research, "Investigation of the Tagish Lake Carbonaceous Chondrite Using X-ray Microdiffraction." His advisors are associate professors Penelope King and Roberta Flemming. An honorable mention also went to Svetlana Neretina of McMaster University in Ontario for her research paper, "The Role of Lattice Mismatch in the Deposition of CdTe Thin Films," advisors: Peter Mascher, with James Britten providing expertise in crystallography.

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Dec 2006
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Basic ScienceBiophotonicsBruker AXSCenter for Superconductivity ResearchcoatingsDepartment of Materials Science and Engineeringgeological sciencesHsiu-Wen WangIndiana UniversityIUMicroscopynanoNews & FeaturesphotonicsUniversity of Maryland

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