Kaoumi wins National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Award

Top to bottom: Dickey, Harrysson, Jones, Huang & Kaoumi

Congratulations to co-principal investigator Djamel Kaoumi, associate professor in nuclear engineering, at NC State University. They received a $1.29 million award for a MRI: Acquisition of Plasma Multi-ion-source Focused Ion Beam Microscope” project.

Other team researchers include Drs. Elizabeth Dickey, principal investigator from Materials Science & Engineering, Ola Harrysson, co-PI from Industrial Science & Engineering, Jacob Jones co-PI from Material Science & Engineering, and Hsiao-Ying Shadow Huang, co-PI from Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Materials Research (DMR) will support the acquisition of a state-of-the-art focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope outfitted with advanced detectors and automation tools.

“The instrument enables and supports a diverse range of research projects and programs, within academia and industry, that involve three-dimensional, multi-modal characterization and patterning of microstructures. Such three-dimensional analysis is particularly important for developing materials processing strategies for additive manufacturing and for understanding mechanisms leading to material degradation and failure. In addition, the nanopatterning capabilities of the instrument provide precision engineering of novel nanometer-scale optical and mechanical devices.

The location of the instrument within the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network, a node of the NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), provides enhanced access to researchers from across the nation, impacting local universities, not-for-profit institutions, and industries. The instrument will be integrated into the curriculum developed under an NSF-funded National Research Traineeship program, which brings together the materials science, statistics, and machine learning communities to develop new approaches to materials informatics research. Workshops and training modules will be developed to broaden participation from minority institutions and to educate a new generation of researchers at the intersection of statistics and materials science.

This award supports the acquisition of an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) multi-ion source focused-ion beam/ scanning electron microscope (pFIB/SEM) to support the ongoing and future research of numerous faculty, postdoctoral and student researchers from across five academic departments at North Carolina State University and regional universities.”

The instrument’s location at the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network will allow other personnel to utilize and contribute to research that

  • “Study material properties governed by complex hierarchical material microstructures;
  • Study three dimensional microstructures in materials that would be susceptible to artifacts from ion implantation using conventional Ga ion sources; and,
  • Pattern large area yet high fidelity (nanometer-scale resolution) patterns in a variety of materials.

The broader impacts of the infrastructure lie in leveraging the unique capabilities of the North Carolina State Analytical Instrumentation Facility in training a diverse user-base and in developing education modules at the graduate, undergraduate and K-12 levels.”