Walk-Through Report: Facility and Engineering Services 03-14-12

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Mar. 2013
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Walk-Through Report: Facility and Engineering Services 03-26-13

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A Mystery at Cryogenic Temperatures

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Anomalous Schottky Specific Heat and Structural Distortion in Ferromagnetic PrAl<sub>2</sub>
A. K. Pathak, D. Paudyal, Y. Mudryk, K. A. Gschneidner, Jr., and V. K. Pecharsky
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Physical Review Letters
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Scientists have discovered a fascinating secret about praseodymium aluminide.  When PrAl2 is cooled, its crystal structure changes from high symmetry cubic to low symmetry tetragonal below -400 °F (32 K).  However, when the cooling is done in a high magnetic field, the material retains the cubic structure.  This change is not observed in other rare-earth aluminides.  Furthermore, PrAl2 has an anomalous heat capacity per unit mass at low temperatures.  It is 10x higher than pure praseodymium.  (Heat capacity is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a material by one degree.)  First principle calculations confirm the mysterious behaviors originate from an unexpectedly strong competition between the interactions of magnetic (4f) moments mediated by the sea of conduction electrons in PrAl2 and the splitting of the energy levels of the 4f electrons of the rare-earth atoms in both the cubic and tetragonal lattices.  The structure’s flexibility may yield practical applications, including magnetostrictive transducers and magnetoresistive sensors, and may serve as a foundation for energy efficient and environmentally friendly magnetic cooling for consumer use.  

Contacts:                                                            For release: Aug. 26, 2013
Tom Lograsso, Interim Ames Laboratory Director, 515-294-2770
Steve Carter, Facilities engineer, 515-294-7889
Kerry Gibson, Public Affairs, 515-294-1405

ImagePlans are being finalized for construction of a new Ames Laboratory research facility that will house current and next generation sensitive instruments such as electron and scanning probe microscopes. These instruments allow for detailed description of materials at the atomic level to aid in the discovery and design of novel materials. The nearly $10 million project is being funded through the DOE's Office of Science.

“This state-of-the-art facility will greatly enhance our capability to study and characterize materials at the atomic scale and in turn improve how we are able to support the DOE’s mission,” said Interim Ames Laboratory Director Tom Lograsso. “The quality and impact of Ames Laboratory scientific research has increased our visibility within the DOE and around the world. We see support for this facility as recognition of that hard work.”

Planning for the Sensitive Instrument Facility (SIF) has been in the works for about three years and included an in-depth site survey of five possible locations. The SIF will be built at the Applied Science Complex northwest of the Ames Lab/Iowa State University campus because this site offers "the lowest site vibration levels ever measured” by the consulting firm reviewing the sites. According to Ames Laboratory facilities engineer Steve Carter, the plans should be finalized this fall which will allow the project to be bid in early winter with construction tentatively slated to begin in April or May 2014. Construction is expected take 12-15 months to complete.

ImageThe 13,300 square-foot facility will be a straight-forward, rectangular-shaped building, but its rather plain exterior design belies the complexity of creating interior space isolated from vibration or electrical interference. It will have six bays to house sensitive instruments, such as electron microscopes used to reveal atoms and atomic structures. Working at such a small scale, even the slightest disturbance from vibration or electro-magnetic interference will blur the image.

“Isolation is key and we’ve tried to design it to accommodate the next generation of instruments,” Carter said. “We’re talking about instruments so sensitive that the operator will work from a separate control room because the beating of their heart or breathing will cause excess vibration. It’s a very unique and complex building.”

For example, the concrete floors will be approximately two feet thick with vibration dampening layers built in. Similarly, the walls and ceilings will be thick concrete and the instrument bays will be lined with quarter-inch-thick aluminum plate to help create an electro-magnetic barrier. Reinforcing bars in the concrete must be fiberglass, not steel. Likewise, the electrical conduit and even the fasteners used must be non-magnetic (non-ferrous). And the heating and ventilation system must keep the temperature and humidity constant without creating vibration or interference.

“There’s been good input from a lot of players, including the microscopy group and ISU Facilities Planning and Management staff,” Carter said. “And (facilities manager) Mark Grootveld deserves a lot of credit for guiding the overall project.”

The Sensitive Instrument Facility is the first new research facility to be built by the Ames Laboratory in more than 50 years. The last new construction was the Lab’s Technical and Administrative Services Facility, which was completed in 1993.

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 the Office of Science website at science.energy.gov/.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.




Alumni Test

Dr. David P. Baldwin

Interim Deputy Director
321 Technical and Administrative Services Facility (TASF)
The Ames Laboratory
Ames, IA 50011-3020
Phone 515-294-5772
Fax 515-294-4556
Email dbaldwin@ameslab.gov

(Chronologically most recent on top)Education

  • Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Massachesetts Institute of Technology, 1989
  • B.S. Chemistry, Lebanon Valley College, 1985

(Chronologically most recent on top)Professional Appointments

  • 2013- Interim Deputy Director
  • 2011- present Director and Principal Investigator, Midwest Forensics Resource Center (MFRC)
  • 1997-2010 Scientist, Ames Laboratory
  • 1991-1997 Associate Scientist, Ames Laboratory
  • 1989-1991 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sandia National Laboratories
  • 1985-1989 Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(Chronologically most recent on top)Publications with the Ames Laboratory

Taylor M C; Laber T L; Epstein B P; Zamzow D S; Baldwin D P . 2011. The effect of firearm muzzle gases on the backspatter of blood. International Journal of Legal Medicine. 125:617-628. abstract
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Perdian D C; Bajic S J; Baldwin D P; Houk R S . 2008. Time-resolved studies of particle effects in laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry. 23:336-341. abstract
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Perdian D C; Bajic S J; Baldwin D P; Houk R S . 2008. Time-resolved studies of particle effects in laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry. 23:325-335. abstract
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Understanding of Rare Earth Metals from Theory

The rare earth metals are becoming increasingly applicable in our everyday life. The enormous importance of rare earths in the technology, environment, and economy is attracting scientists all over the world to investigate them starting from the extraction to the physical and chemical properties measurements.  Although a lot of works have been done on the experimentation of rare earths, the true understanding from theory and modeling on these materials is lagging behind.

Solar to Chemical Energy Conversion with Photocatalytic Heterostructures made of Earth Abundant Materials

Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) is one of the most promising materials for solar energy harvesting. Made of highly abundant, widely distributed and relatively biocompatible elements, and with a direct band gap of 1.5 eV, CZTS is an affordable, greener and more sustainable alternative to other semiconductors such as GaAs, CdTe, CuInS2 (CIS), or CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS).

Software Interoperability for New Science

Within the Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (AMCS) program we advance the use of scalable computing in scientific and engineering computation, and develop new programming paradigms for novel hardware. Multiscale simulation methods is an indispensable tool in understanding chemical processes and designing new materials. When simulation spans multiple temporal or spatial scales, existing capabilities of a single software package are often insufficient, and a coupling of multiple programming packages developed by different research groups is strongly desirable.