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Award Abstract #1229263

MRI: Acquisition of a High Resolution Cryo Scanning Electron Microscope System

NSF Org: DMR
Division Of Materials Research
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Initial Amendment Date: August 31, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: August 31, 2012
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Award Number: 1229263
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Leonard Spinu
DMR Division Of Materials Research
MPS Direct For Mathematical & Physical Scien
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Start Date: September 1, 2012
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End Date: August 31, 2015 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $638,770.00
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Investigator(s): Lorraine Francis lfrancis@umn.edu (Principal Investigator)
Andreas Stein (Co-Principal Investigator)
Timothy Lodge (Co-Principal Investigator)
Alon McCormick (Co-Principal Investigator)
Carol Wells (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
200 OAK ST SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-2070 (612)624-5599
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NSF Program(s): MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION
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Program Reference Code(s): 7237, 9161, AMPP
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Program Element Code(s): 1189

ABSTRACT

This MRI grant supports the purchase of a new high resolution field emission scanning electron microscope (cryoSEM) with a cryostage and advanced features, including x-ray chemical analysis, and a versatile cryospecimen preparation and transfer system. This new cryoSEM system will be used in a wide variety of research projects to produce a more in depth and realistic understanding of the micro- and nanostructure, chemical composition and structural development of complex samples that are impossible to image in an ordinary, room temperature SEM. The features of the cryoSEM and the specimen preparation and handling system facilitate a variety of research projects that demand high resolution imaging with the option of chemical analysis and with precise control over the cryospecimen preparation and handling. Some example research projects include: microstructure development in liquid applied coatings, structure of ordered porous materials used as electrodes, nanostructure of complex, block copolymer-based hydrogels that are used drug delivery materials and the structure of hydrated collagen- and fibrin-based tissue equivalents.

The research enabled by the cryoSEM facility will have broader impacts across a variety of fields, including coating processing, colloidal science, porous materials, block copolymers, collagen-based tissue equivalents, biofilms, geomagnetism, and emulsion science. The cryoSEM will provide results that could not be achieved by other means and will impact not only on the scientific understanding but also on the engineering of new materials and devices. The results will be disseminated in publications and presentations, including presentations to industry through the University of Minnesota's Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering. The new cryoSEM system will also impact the research training and education of students at various levels, from graduate students down to middle school students, through seminars, workshops and demonstrations.

 

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