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Argonne to expand nanotechnology research

Oct. 21, 2009 at 2:32 PM   |   Comments

ARGONNE, Ill., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The Argonne National Laboratory says it will expand its nanotechnology research activities thanks to completion of a new microscopy building.

Located within the laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials, the new facility is expected to allow a significant expansion of research into nanomagnetism and nanoferroelectrics.

The building was designed to house a new scanning probe microscope that measures spin-polarized electrons on surfaces.

"The spin-polarized scanning probing microscope is a wonderful addition to the many tools available to researchers (at the Center for Nanoscale Materials), said the center's Interim Director Derrick Mancini. "Nanomagnetism is a burgeoning field, and the (microscope) will provide the most cutting-edge technology for this research."

The increased nanomagnetism research may lead to more energy-efficient motors, advanced information storage, processing prototype devices, advanced medical therapy and biomagnetic sensing concepts, the researchers said.

The new building was constructed specifically to house the scanning probing microscope, which requires a highly stable operating environment that is free of acoustic and vibratory interference. The microscope also produces relatively large stray magnetic fields that are incompatible with other instruments.

Officials said the new $1.5 million facility will be ready for occupancy later this year.

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