The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Ames Laboratory has announced that it will acquire a Dynamic Nuclear Polarization-NMR spectrometer, 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.
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.
“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.
“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.
The Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. The Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.
Calling all crafters to join in a lunchtime Ames Lab craft social! Join your fellow Ames Lab colleagues every second Wednesday of the month in G51 TASF (vending area) to knit, crochet, cross stitch, make jewelry or work on whatever craft project you have going.
Work is progressing on the Critical Materials Institute office space on the first floor of Wilhelm Hall. Drywall has been installed and workmen have been painting this week. Installation of the suspended ceiling is scheduled to begin soon with cabinetry and fixtures to follow.
|This shows the reception area looking west. The doorway in the background will be the CMI
Director's office. The ceiling features three arcs designed to mimic the arcs in the CMI logo. The low
wall behind the scaffolding will be covered with bamboo plywood, or plyboo.
This shows the conference room looking from the doorway to the northeast. The rectangular frame
This shows an additional workspace located at the east end of the office suite.
Ames Laboratory employees should always be on guard against possible cyber-attacks and practice good computer security measures but on Aug. 12-15 a little extra vigilance would be advisable. A team of DOE cyber security experts will be on site checking network security as part of the Safeguards and Security review.
Information Systems staff conducted a random walk-through inspection earlier this month to see if computer systems were properly baselined and that work stations were secure. The inspections turned up several cases were employees had passwords written and displayed in plain sight.
“You don’t want to leave passwords near your computer where they can be easily found,” says Cyber Security Manager Bill Sears, “particularly not under your keyboard or in your top desk drawer. “
Another common vulnerability was unattended computers that were still logged on.
“If you’re going to be away from your desk, even briefly, lock your system,” Sears says, “and make sure that your screen saver is set so that it requires you to log in on wake up. Also, if you’ll be away for lunch or a period of time and no one needs to access the space, lock your office door.”
While the cyber inspection team of Walter Dykas and Frank Healy will have name badges during the inspection and will be accompanied by Sears or other IS personnel, staff should always be vigilant and question if they see someone unfamiliar, particularly if that person is where they shouldn’t be, such as a private office space. Sears says staff should call the guard desk or Information Systems if anything appears out of the ordinary.
“From past experience, they will probably wander around after hours and see if there are areas they can access,” Sears says. “They may also try other methods to infiltrate our systems, so if you find a stray USB key or flash drive lying around, bring it to IS and we’ll scan it. DON’T plug it into your system.”
The inspection team will likely spend the first day or so moving about the Ames Lab campus and then shift to conducting internal vulnerability scans of the network.
Donald O. Thompson, founding director of Iowa State University’s Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) and emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, died peacefully on July 29 after a two year battle with cancer. Thompson was 86 years old.
Thompson was a pioneer in the field of nondestructive evaluation (NDE), moving NDE to a more quantitative and science based approach for analyzing the condition of materials and safe life for structures.
Thompson joined ISU and Ames Laboratory in 1979. He was also part of ISU’s Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT) since its inception in 1987. With IPRT, Thompson initiated the creation of CNDE – an NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center - devoted to researching, teaching and practicing NDE. Through a collaboration between CNDE and ISU’s College of Engineering, Thompson helped develop a fully accredited minor in NDE within the college – a first-of-its-kind program.
Thompson began a phased retirement in early 1997. In 1999, he accepted a position as Scientific Advisor to IPRT’s Director. Until his death he remained President of QNDE Programs, the entity, that together with CNDE, organizes the Annual Reviews of Progress in Quantitative NDE. Last week he recently attended the 40th QNDE meeting (July 21-26) where he was recognized for his contributions and role in developing the meeting and the field of NDE.
Prior to joining ISU, Thompson worked in a variety of positions for Rockwell International Science Center, Thousand Oaks, California. He was also a group leader in radiation effects at the Solid State Physics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and at the Air Force Cambridge Research Center, Atomic Effects Directorate.
Thompson was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He had earned B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Iowa.
“Don was a tenacious fighter for what he believed in, and his vision and perseverance did much to establish NDE in both the US and wider global R&D community," said Leonard Bond, interim IPRT director. "He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues in the NDE community.”
A Caringbridge website had been established for Don where further information can be found and tributes recorded.
Ames Laboratory Interim Director Tom Lograsso has announced the appointment of David Baldwin to the position of Interim Deputy Director of the Ames Laboratory for a period of one year, starting on Aug. 1, 2013. The position of Deputy Director is a quarter-time appointment.
Baldwin is the Director for the Midwest Forensics Resource Center and the Environmental and Protection Sciences Program. His background is in analytical chemistry and his research efforts have focused on analytical research and development projects in forensic science, nuclear non-proliferation and environmental monitoring and characterization projects.
He has been at the Lab since 1991, has previously served as the Chair of the Safety Review committee and brings experience in program management. His responsibilities will include space management and allocation, oversight of the Environment, Safety, Health and Assurance program, and serving as the Director in Lograsso's absence.
Baldwin's appointment fills the Deputy Director position once again. Lograsso was originally named as interim for that spot upon the retirement of Bruce Harmon earlier this year. When Ames Lab Director Alex King stepped down to lead the Critical Materials Institute, Lograsso was elevated to serve as interim Lab Director.
For those of you unable to attend the July 24 Lunch and Learn session on Change Management, presented by Jul Bruns from Employee & Family Resources, below are some key takeaways from the workshop that may be of interest to you.
- Personal view of change: Why can’t they just leave us alone? vs. change is a normal part of life. I can handle it. I actually enjoy it!
- Change is constant. Growth is optional.
- Adjust your expectations to fit reality. Attitude is everything.
- Stress: When demands we experience exceed our perceived coping skills.
- Perception of Control: Ask “what now?” instead of “why?” Learn to “reframe” the event. Perception is personal. The event isn’t.
- Learned optimism: Being open to change/overcomes demanding experiences or “I can” vs. pessimism, resistance to change, failure to overcome demands or “I can’t.”
- Resiliency is a focus on positive attitude and action every individual can learn. You do have control.
Topics of Handouts Provided
- Coping with the Stress of Change
- Managing Change
- Tips for Developing Resiliency
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Controlled Breathing
- Stress Reactions
If you are interested in receiving copies of any of the handouts listed above, please email Mallory Schon at email@example.com. For more information regarding your Employee Assistance Program, please call 800-327-4692 or visit www.efr.org/eap.
What is happening with critical materials in the long, medium and short terms, and what is the Critical Materials Institute doing about it?
Find out at a Lunch & Learn talk by CMI director Alex King. Bring your lunch and your questions on Aug. 20 at noon in 301 Spedding.
Document Number: Plan 10200.041
Version number: 0
Effective date: July 2013
Ames Laboratory senior metallurgist Iver Anderson has been selected by the Iowa State University College of Engineering Honors and Awards Committee and the Engineering Deans to receive the David R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research.
As the recipient of the Boylan Award, Anderson will receive a Boylan statue and $4,000, to be presented at the College of Engineering's Fall Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 3:10 p.m. in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall. A reception honoring all awardees will be held immediately following the convocation.
Anderson is also invited to present the Iowa Distinguished Faculty in Engineering Lecture at the University of Iowa at a date to be determined.