When it arrives on campus this October, a powerful new $1.7 million x-ray microscope will help Washington State University scientists develop specialized materials for technologies such as self-healing roads, printable batteries and super-efficient solar cells.
The unique microscope can create three-dimensional models of a material’s interior down to 50 nanometer resolution. Such precision will enable researchers across the university to design more efficient and powerful components for technologies ranging from batteries and solar cells to drug delivery methods that use nanoparticles to target cancerous tumors. It also will provide faculty a competitive advantage when applying for future research grants.
“In order to make high performance materials better or more versatile, you need to be able to characterize and control the arrangements of atoms inside them,” said Aurora Clark, professor of chemistry and principal investigator for the Xradia Ultra program. “Previously, WSU scientists had to go somewhere like the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago to do the kind of imaging we will now be able to do in-house.”
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