NDT.net December 2006, Vol. 11 No.12

Bruker AXS Announces Two $5,000 X-ray Diffraction Scholarships at Materials Research Society Fall Meeting

Professor Takeuchi accepts Bruker AXS Award on behalf of Chris Long and the University of Maryland.
BOSTON, December 1 /CNW/ - During the 2006 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting now taking place at the Hynes Convention Center, Bruker AXS, a leading global provider of advanced X-ray solutions for life and advanced materials sciences, announced the recipients of its 2006 Excellence in X-ray Diffraction (XRD) scholarships based on unique experiments performed by advanced university students. Recognizing academic achievement in X-ray Diffraction, Bruker AXS presented a $5,000 scholarship for unique applications in the category of Materials Science and another $5,000 scholarship for the category of Geology and Chemistry. The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges: Dr. Tom Blanton from Eastman Kodak, Dr. Jim Kaduk from Innovene and President of the International Centre for Diffraction Data, Professor Richard Matyi, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at UAlbany-SUNY, National Research Council Canada Research Officer Dr. Pam Whitfield, Associate Professor Scott Misture from Alfred University in New York, and Dr. Nattamai Bhuvanesh, Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University.

Hsiu-Wen Wang of the Indiana University Department of Geological Sciences, Bloomington was awarded the Bruker AXS 2006 Excellence in X-ray Diffraction scholarship for unique applications in the category of Geology and Chemistry. The title of her winning paper is "Dehydration/Rehydration Induced Phase Transitions in Natrolite." She was advised in her research by Professor David Bish of the Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University. In accepting her award, she 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." Natrolite is a tectosilica mineral species belonging to the zeolite group. Natrolite 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.

Graduate student (Ph.D.) Christian Long of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Center for Superconductivity Research, department of Physics at the University of Maryland was awarded the 2006 Bruker AXS Excellence in X-ray Diffraction scholarship again this year for unique applications in the category of Materials Science. His paper is entitled "Rapid Structural Mapping of the Ternary Metallic Alloy Systems Using the Combinatorial Approach and Cluster Analysis." The winner and his advisor, Professor Ichiro Takeuchi, 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 current work has been submitted to Review of Scientific Instruments and is awaiting review before publication. Chris explained his research, saying, "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." In the future, Chris 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.

Honorary mention goes to Matt Izawa from the University of Western Ontario, advised by Associate Professors Penelope King and Roberta Flemming on his research on "Investigation of the Tagish Lake Carbonaceous Chondrite Using X-ray Microdiffraction." Chondrites are stony meteorites that have not been modified due to melting or differentiation of the parent body. They formed when various types of dust and small grains that were present in the early solar system accreted to form primitive asteroids.

Honorable mention also goes to Svetlana Neretina, advised by Dr. James Britten, from McMaster University in Ontario for her research paper on: "The Role of Lattice Mismatch in the Deposition of CdTe Thin Films". Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a crystalline compound formed from cadmium and tellurium with a zinc blend (cubic) crystal structure. CdTe, is a useful material for solar cells (photovoltaics). It is cheaper than silicon, especially in thin-film solar cell technology, but not as efficient.

"We are very pleased to provide these scholarships to these excellent students, and we are most impressed by the quality of the XRD experiments that these advanced students performed, and the valuable scientific results obtained," said Uwe Preckwinkel, Bruker AXS Product Manager for Materials Research Solutions.

About XRD
X-Ray Diffraction is a high-tech, non-destructive 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, micro-diffraction, nano-materials, lab- and process automation, and high-throughput polymorph screening.

Bruker AXS scientists are available at the Company's MRS Fall Conference booth to discuss these awards and the corresponding research findings. Bruker AXS has published the above papers now in a book available to the press, MRS attendees, and other scientists. For more information on the 2006 MRS Fall Conference, please visit www.mrs.org

For further information: Bruker AXS Michael Willett, 978-663-3660 ext. 1411 Public Relations & Investor Relations Officer Michael.Willett@bruker.com or visit www.bruker-axs.de/

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