Mines awarded $2.3M NSF grant to develop Dynamic Atom Probe
GOLDEN, Colo., Oct. 4, 2010 – A $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will allow Colorado School of Mines researchers develop a Dynamic Atom Probe – the first instrument of its kind to enable 3D imaging and chemical identification at the atomic level with ultrafast time resolution.
“The Dynamic Atom Probe we are developing will allow scientists and engineers to determine how materials behave at high temperatures and under high voltages,” said Brian Gorman, assistant professor of metallurgical and materials engineering at Mines. “While we already know a lot about materials on the macro scale, this instrument will allow us to study these processes one atom at a time and at time intervals of approximately one billionth of a second.”
Gorman explained that understanding materials at this level will give researchers the ability to develop next generation metal alloys that have increased strength while maintaining low weight. It will also allow them to determine the best processing parameters for the production of solar cells, ultimately enabling the development of high efficiency, low cost devices.
Similarly, the Dynamic Atom Probe will help scientists determine how electronic devices fail under extreme conditions, leading to developments to increase the lifetime and reliability of computer processors.
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