MRI: Acquisition of Focused Ion Beam Instrument for Multidisciplinary Research and Education

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The acquisition of a focused ion beam (FIB) instrument will support the research programs of a multi-disciplinary team of materials scientists, geologists, engineers, chemists and life scientists at the Pennsylvania State University. FIB will have immediate and long-term impact in materials and earth sciences, micro-/nano-fabrication and life sciences. Materials researchers will use it to probe the microstructure of important interfaces and to prepare sections from nanometer sized semiconductor wires. Geologists will use FIB to extract samples from ultrahard diamonds for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies to determine their origin and to sample ultraprecious extraterrestrial samples. The etching and deposition capabilities of the FIB will allow users to fabricate nanoscale devices that will enable delivery of nanoparticles or ligands to precise locations. In addition, it will permit mechanical engineers to fabricate nanoscale mechanical test structures to probe fundamental mechanics questions. Chemical engineers will use FIB to tailor make nanoscale reactors for nanomanufacturing studies. By incorporating a cryogenic sample stage we aim to expand the applications of FIB into the life sciences, an area that has only recently begun to realize the tremendous power of FIB. Focused Ion Beam (FIB) combines the power of electron microscopy with a focused beam of high-energy ions to create a tool capable of 3-dimensional imaging of complex materials. By incorporating gas deposition and etching capabilities, FIB also allows scientists to precisely deposit metals or selectively remove organic material to create new structures. The acquisition of a FIB will significantly enhance the research and education infrastructure at Penn State. This instrument will bring together a strong multi-disciplinary team of materials scientists, geologists, engineers, chemists and life scientists. Materials researchers will use it to probe the microstructure of important interfaces and to prepare sections from nanometer sized semiconductor wires. Geologists will use FIB to extract samples from ultrahard diamonds for TEM studies to determine their origin and to sample ultraprecious extraterrestrial samples. The etching and deposition capabilities will allow users to fabricate nanoscale devices that will enable delivery of nanoparticles or ligands to precise locations. It will permit mechanical engineers to fabricate nanoscale mechanical test structures to probe fundamental mechanics questions. Chemical engineers will use FIB to tailor make nanoscale reactors for nanomanufacturing studies. By incorporating a cryogenic sample stage we aim to expand the applications of FIB into the life sciences, an area that has only recently begun to realize the tremendous power of FIB. Having access to FIB will promote research with wide ranging societal benefits including healthcare, microelectronics, manufacturing and basic scientific understanding of materials.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/046/30/05

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $482,888.00
  • National Science Foundation: $482,888.00

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