2012 Topical Appraisal - Cyber Security

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2012 Topical Appraisal - Confined Space Entry Program

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Environment Safety Health Assurance
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2012 Topical Appraisal - Annual Radionuclide Air Emissions Report

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Environment Safety Health Assurance
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ImageLong-time Ames Laboratory chemist and Iowa State University Distinguished Professor John Corbett passed away early Sept 2 in Ames. Funeral services are Friday, Sept. 6 at 3:00 pm. at St. John's by the Campus (2338 Lincoln Way, stjohns-ames.org).

The obituary from the Des Moines Register can be found HERE. Sympathies may be sent to his home address: 2337 Woodview Dr, Ames, IA 50014-8529.

Corbett was born in 1926, received his PhD at the University of Washington and joined the Ames Laboratory and the Iowa State University faculty in 1952. He was a member of the National Academy of Science and was named Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in 1983. He served Ames Lab as Chemistry Division Chief and was Program Director for Materials Chemistry and also chaired the ISU Chemistry Department.

Ames Laboratory's Inquiry magazine recently featured Corbett as one of the "Faces" of Ames Laboratory. You can read that feature by clicking HERE.

Employee Concerns 2012-2013

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Environment Safety Health Assurance
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Crystal Growth at the Nanoscale yields Unexpected Shapes

Highlight Date: 
09/02/2013
Display Section: 
Broad Audience Highlights
Article Title: 
Growth of fcc(111) Dy Multi-height Islands on 6H-SiC(0001) Graphene
Author(s): 
M. T. Hershberger, M. Hupalo, P. A. Thiel, and M. C. Tringides
Article Link: 
Journal Name: 
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Volume: 
225
Year: 
2013
Page Number(s): 
225005
Highlight Text: 

Scientists have discovered that the rare earth element dysprosium grown on graphene — a one atom thick layer of carbon — forms triangular-shaped islands, whereas other magnetic metals form hexagonal-shaped islands.  Based on the hexagonal closed packed (hcp) bulk crystal structure of dysprosium, hexagonal islands would also have been expected.  Researchers used scanning tunneling microscopy to identify the crystal structure of dysprosium on graphene.  The results indicate that dysprosium grows as face centered cubic (fcc) crystals on graphene rather than hcp.  The triangular shape arises, in part, from unequal energy barriers for dysprosium atoms to move around the corners of the islands.  This difference in growth structure compared to the bulk suggests that these islands may have different magnetic properties from that observed in the bulk.  Understanding the growth of magnetic materials on graphene is important for furthering the development of graphene-based electronic devices that take advantage of the spin properties of materials, so-called spintronic devices.  Rare earth metals have large bulk magnetic moments that make them likely elements of these spintronic devices.

Fall semester is a great time for new beginnings, particularly for Ames Laboratory’s education programs. With the beginning of this semester, the Lab is now offering its Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program year around.  SULI began in 2005 as a summer internship at the Lab, but due to tremendous interest, this past January the SULI program was expanded to include a 16-week spring semester program, and now it’s been expanded again to include a fall internship. 

This fall’s inaugural program includes five students from colleges and universities around the country, including the University of California-LA, Georgia Gwinnett College, Brown University, University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State.  But since inception, students from over 100 colleges and universities nationwide have participated in the SULI program.

The students will spend their fall semester working in research labs with scientist-mentors at Ames Lab and ISU. 

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(Back row l-r): Duane Johnson, Chief Research Officer; Deb Covey, Associate Lab Director-
Sponsored Research Administration; Cynthia Jenks, Assistant Director-Scientific Planning;
Steve Karsjen, Director of Public Affairs, Education, and Outreach; Tom Lagrasso, Interim
Director; (Middle Row l-r): Wenyu Huang, Reza Montazami, Zak Weinstein, Aaron Saddow;
(Front row l-r): Christopher Perez, Catherine Meis, Abby Souhrada, Jason Smith.

At the end of the semester, they will be responsible for preparing an abstract, a research report and a poster on their work, among other things.

The new crop of students will bring the number of participants in the 2013 SULI program to 34.  “That number is a far cry from the 10 SULI students we hosted our first year back in 2005,” says Laboratory Education Director Steve Karsjen. “And the success with which we’ve been able to grow our student base as well as find additional mentors to work with the students is a clear indication of the value all involved place on this dynamic DOE program.” 

All told since 2005, the Lab has hosted 163 SULI students, but SULI is not the Lab’s only education program. It also offers the Community College Internship (CCI) program and Visiting Faculty Program (VFP). CCI has been around since 2011 and VFP since 2010. This year, the Lab hosted three CCI students  and three VFP teams, which consisted of three faculty and three students.  These students and faculty have also come from colleges and universities across the country.  

CCI and VFP are much smaller programs than SULI says Karsjen, but he says all three programs are seen as incredibly valuable by students. “Students who’ve been through our programs repeatedly tell us research experiences at the Ames Laboratory and ISU not only change careers, but lives.” 

Ames Laboratory Education Programs would like to express appreciation to the 85 Ames Laboratory and ISU scientist-mentors who’ve been involved (many repeatedly) in SULI, CCI and VFP since their inception at the Lab and invites everyone to view the posters currently hanging in TASF, Spedding and Metals Development (or on the link below) that showcase the accomplishments of some of the students who’ve been through each of the programs.

Selective Synthesis of “Left-Handed” or “Right-Handed” Chemicals

Highlight Date: 
08/30/2013
Display Section: 
Division of Chemical and Biological Sciences
Broad Audience Highlights
Article Title: 
Highly Enantioselective Zirconium-Catalyzed Cyclization of Aminoalkenes
Author(s): 
K. Manna, W. C. Everett, G. Schoendorff, A. Ellern, T. L. Windus, and A. D. Sadow
Article Link: 
Journal Name: 
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 
135
Year: 
2013
Page Number(s): 
7235-7250
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A new series of catalysts is able to selectively make “left-handed” or “right-handed” nitrogen-containing compounds known as amines. Left-handed and right-handed molecules contain the same components, but are mirror images of each other. Researchers were able to take strings of nitrogen-containing molecules and make five-, six- and seven-membered rings with enantiomeric excess of 90%.  Most other catalysts produce a mixture of both enantiomers.  Researchers studied hafnium, titanium and zirconium (Group 4) containing catalysts and found the zirconium catalysts to be the best at producing one enantiomer in high yield over the other.  The new zirconium catalysts do what no other Group 4 catalyst has done before — they can operate at room temperature and down to minus 20 °F.  All other zirconium catalysts operate at 300 °F.  These new catalysts are also tolerant of various functional groups attached to the amines. Researchers performed detailed studies of the structure, activity and selectivity of this system of catalysts and were able to characterize the reaction pathways. The pursuit of these optically active amines is important for improved syntheses of commodity and specialty chemicals. 

Even though its research is already underway, the Critical Materials Institute will be officially launched with a grand opening celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 10 on the front steps of Willhelm Hall. The CMI is one of the Department of Energy's Energy Innovation Hubs and the event will include speakers from DOE, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University and the CMI.

The event, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., will feature speeches by representatives of the various groups mentioned and an official ribbon cutting ceremony. DOE will be represented by David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Ames Lab Interim Director Tom Lograsso, Iowa State University President Steven Leath and CMI Director Alex King are also scheduled to speak.

Following the ceremony, a lunch for invited guests will be held in a tent to be set up in the south end of the parking lot in front of TASF. Information on parking will be provided next week. Pammel Drive will also be closed during the dedication event.

"We first started working on this back in January of 2011," King said, "so it has taken a while to come to fruition. It's evidence that hard work pays off ... and the reward is more hard work. So be careful what you wish for."

"I think it was Winston Churchill who said, 'This isn't the end. In fact, it's not even the beginning of the end. But it might be considered the end of the beginning'" King said. "We're excited to get started."

The grand opening festivities are just the start of two and a half days of meetings for the Institute. Staff from all of the CMI's 18 partner institutions - four national labs, seven universities and seven industrial partners - will be on hand. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, there will be plenary sessions that are open to Ames Lab and ISU staff. The balance of the meetings will be closed and focus on specific research efforts. The plenary sessions will be held in the Spedding Hall auditorium, 301 Spedding.

The CMI was created to develop solutions to domestic shortages of rare earth metals and other materials vital to U.S. energy security. These materials are essential in many modern clean energy technologies – such as wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting.

DOE announced in January that the Ames Laboratory had been selected to lead the Critical Materials Institute with federal funding of $120 million over five years. The hub is a collaboration of leading researchers from academia, four DOE national laboratories, and the private sector.

Energy Innovation Hubs are major integrated research centers with researchers from many different institutions and technical backgrounds that combine basic and applied research with engineering to accelerate scientific discovery in critical energy areas. The CMI is only the fifth such Hub to be launched by DOE.

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The main reception area in the CMI office on first floor Willhelm gets some finishing touches.
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Workmen (green shirts) were installing the main door while technicians from Storey-Kenworthy (blue shirts) installed furniture fixtures.
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Cabinetry throughout the space, including the kitchenette, has been installed but the countertop contractor hasn't completed the job.

Ames Laboratory will be boosting its characterization capabilities when it acquires a Dynamic Nuclear Polarization-NMR spectrometer The new equipment represents a giant step forward in the laboratory’s world-class solid state NMR capabilities.

The Ames Laboratory’s instrument will be the first of its kind to be focused on materials and materials chemistry in the United States.

In traditional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology, researchers are able to discover physical, chemical, electronic, and structural information about materials, based on the way atomic nuclei in the sample absorb electromagnetic radiation in a strong magnetic field.

Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP)-NMR uses microwaves to polarize electrons, and then transfer that polarization from the electrons to the nuclei of the sample being analyzed.

“It’s essentially a combination of two techniques, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy with NMR, which yields an amazing increase in sensitivity,” said Cynthia Jenks, assistant director of scientific planning for the Ames Laboratory and director of chemical and biological sciences. “In the types of materials we use, we’ve been able to demonstrate an enhancement of anywhere from eight to 30 times in signal sensitivity. Results that used to take a week to obtain will now take hours or minutes.”

The increased capabilities of the DNP-NMR instrument will be in the hands of the lab’s six world-leading solid-state NMR scientists, and opens up possibilities for research that didn’t previously exist.

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Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP)-NMR combines two techniques, electron
paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy with NMR, producing more sensitive,
rapid research results. Photo courtesy of Bruker.

“Needless to say, we are all very pleased with this acquisition”, said Marek Pruski, the principal investigator of the research team. “The Ames Laboratory has an elite group of scientists specializing in the development and applications of solid-state NMR techniques. During the last 2 years we have conducted exploratory studies to demonstrate the critical importance of DNP NMR to our materials chemistry research, using the existing instrument in Lausanne, Switzerland and at the Bruker facility in Billerica, Massachusetts. All these factors, and the critical support from the Ames Laboratory leadership made this outcome possible.”

Laboratory scientists expect the instrument to greatly expand and accelerate the progress of research efforts in many areas, including catalysis, nanocomposites, fuel cell membrane materials, soil organic matter, carbon electrode  materials, plant cell walls, hydrogen storage materials, and complex states.

The concept of DNP-NMR was first theorized and demonstrated in the 1950s at the University of Illinois, but it took decades of progress in microwave and NMR technology, mainly at MIT, to make a commercially produced instrument possible, only in the last three years.

The instrument, manufactured by Bruker, will be delivered and installed next year.  The instrument is funded by DOE’s Office of Science,  which supports fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels, in an effort to provide the foundations for new energy technologies and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security.