$15M Neutron Scattering Collaboration with NIST Renewed

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded the Clark School's Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) a five year, $15 million grant to renew its collaboration with its Technology Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). MSE professor and chair Robert M. Briber is the PI on the project.

The program, "Neutron Spectroscopy and Scattering for Applications in Materials Science, Macromolecular Science, Condensed Matter Physics and Chemistry," establishes a cooperative research agreement between MSE at the University of Maryland and the NCNR to explore and develop new areas of neutron scattering science, to assist in the development of new instrumentation and techniques for high resolution neutron scattering and spectroscopy, and to perform research in the areas of materials science, macromolecular science, condensed matter physics and chemistry. The program will advance efforts to characterize new materials used in manufacturing and processing, which Briber describes as critical for the United States' competitiveness in industry.

The work will take place at the NCNR's world class cold neutron spectroscopy and scattering facilities, which the program hopes to expand by developing instrumentation for high resolution neutron spectroscopy and scattering, including a hall equipped with five new neutron guides and associated instruments. The project will also offer a joint educational outreach program that will invite guest researchers to the facility to learn new measurement technologies.

MSE, Briber says, is ideally suited for the partnership. "This award is building on over ten years of cooperative work between MSE at UMD and the NIST Center for Neutron Research," he explains. "MSE has become a true leader in the field. According to a recent study done by the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and presented at the 2010 American Conference on Neutron Scattering1, the University of Maryland was the top academic institution for publishing work on neutron scattering between 1999 and 2008 with 375 publications, the majority of which were authored by MSE faculty. The next closest academic institution was the University of Tennessee with 247. This is a direct result of our ongoing collaboration."

Other Clark School faculty members participating in the program include professors Ichiro Takeuchi (MSE), Manfred Wuttig (MSE), and Srinivasa Raghavan (Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), together with John Paglione (Department of Physics) and Sara Woodson (Department of Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University).

1 Allen E. Ekkebus, Sarah J. Wright, June Crowe, and Mary Ann Merrill, " Neutron Scattering Publications–A Bibliometric Study." 2010 American Conference on Neutron Scattering, Ottawa, Canada, June 2010.

Published September 9, 2010