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Date: September 24, 2010

A project at Rutgers to build one of the most advanced electron microscopes in the world was praised by the White House, Friday, September, 17 2010, as one of the federal stimulus projects that is helping to transform the nation.

The microscope, designed by Rutgers scientists to have the capability to view the vibrations of atoms, was included in a report that listed 100 projects the Obama administration says exemplify the innovative and effective work funded through the American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"With Recovery Act projects like these, we're starting to . . . rebuild our economy on a new foundation," Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement accompanying the report.

The Rutgers project was funded through a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation with additional funding through the university. Serving as principal investigator is Research Professor Philip E. Batson, who is affiliated with the university's Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology (IAMDN). A world-leading scientist in the area of microscopy, Batson is also a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

Batson said the microscope will have many different applications - more efficient batteries, conversion of light to electricity, and chemical reactions that produce hydrogen.

"This instrument will let us look at how the atoms affect the operation of the things we make at the nanoscale," Batson said.

The project will also serve as a science education tool and help prepare the next generation of advanced materials scientists and engineers.

Leonard C. Feldman, Director of IAMDN, and Vice President, Physical Science and Engineering Partnerships, said the project will make Rutgers the leading university for electron microscopy - the critical tool for advanced materials technology.

He also noted that the project helps U.S. companies compete in a field that has recently been dominated by foreign firms. Rutgers's partner in the project is a small Seattle-based company, Nion Co.

"As this succeeds, it will make this company stand out as world leader," Feldman said.

Batson is joined in the project by co-principal investigators Fred Cosandey, Materials Science and Engineering; Jing Li, Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Sang Cheong, Physics; and Ondrei Krivanek of Nion.

pdf 100 Recovery Acts Projects Changing America Report

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