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|Argonne scientist Jorg Maser loads a sample into the hard X-ray nanoprobe. The nanoprobe uses brilliant X-rays with photon energies from 3 to 30 keV to probe the properties of nanoscale materials with a spatial resolution of 30 nm. The system provides a combination of scanning-probe and full-field transmission imaging. Argonne won a R&D 100 award for the hard X-ray nanoprobe.|
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory received four R&D 100 awards as judged by R&D Magazine.
"The Department of Energy's national laboratories are incubators of innovation, and I'm proud they are being recognized once again for their remarkable work," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The cutting-edge research and development being done in our national labs is vital to maintaining America's competitive edge, increasing our nation's energy security, and protecting our environment. I want to thank this year's winners for their work and congratulate them on this award."
The awards recognize the top scientific and technological innovations of the past year. Argonne scientists have won 105 R&D 100 awards since they were first introduced in 1964.
"These awards are a testament to the hard work and ingenuity that have become a hallmark here at Argonne," Laboratory Director Eric Isaacs said. "The research that occurs at Argonne will help solve the great challenges facing our planet and usher in a better tomorrow."
This year's winners from Argonne (include):
* The Hard X-ray Nanoprobe
Hard X-ray Nanoprobe for X-ray microscopy
The Hard X-ray Nanoprobe (HXN) provides x-ray imaging and x-ray analysis at a spatial resolution previously not available in the hard x-ray range. The system also provides qualitative new characterization capabilities by combining full field transmission imaging with scanning probe capabilities.
Significant advances in high-accuracy positioning allow positioning of the X-ray optics and sample with an accuracy of two nanometers. This enables the use of advanced X-ray optics — stacked zone plates, multilayer Laue lenses — with a spatial resolution of 30 nanometers or below, providing an unmatched spatial resolution in the hard X-ray range. This has already provided users a better understanding of strain in silicon based devices, distribution of matrix elements in geopolymers, Resistive RAM systems and novel nanocomplosites.
The HXN will also significantly improve the ability of medical scientists and nanoscientists to study use of nanocomposites in tissues, cells and subscellular organelles, which helps develop new medical imaging techniques and therapies.
The HXN is the first system to integrate X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, and fullfield imaging exchangeable into a single instrument. This allows fast acquisition of full-field tomographic images combined with X-ray fluorescence and/or X-ray diffraction characterization in situ. The HXN offers the combination of superior hard x-ray spatial resolution with very high elemental and strain sensitivity and operation at atmospheric pressure or in a vacuum. It takes advantage of the properties of hard x-rays by allowing imaging of thick and optically opaque samples, the study of inner structures and buried interfaces, while being nonintrusive and nondestructive.
The HXN was jointly developed by a team from Argonne and Xradia Inc. The Argonne team consisted of Jorg Maser, physicist; Deming Shu, senior engineer; Robert Winarski, physicist; Martin Holt, assistant physicist; Brian Stephenson, senior physicist; and Volker Rose, assistant physicist. The Xradia Inc. team consisted of Michael Feser, VP/GM X-ray Nano-Imaging; Tobias Beetz, project manager; Juana Rudati, project manager; and Wenbing Yun. President/ CTO.
About Argonne National Laboratory
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Our vision is to lead the world in providing scientific and engineering solutions to the grand challenges of our time: plentiful and safe energy, a healthy environment, economic competitiveness and a secure nation.
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