MRI: Acquisition of a Dual Transmission X-ray Diffractometer (DTXRD) for Studying the Local and Bulk Structure of Soft and Hard Materials under In situ and Operando Conditions

Project: Research project

Project Details


MRI: Acquisition of a Dual Transmission X-ray Diffractometer (DTXRD) for Studying the Local and Bulk Structure of Soft and Hard Materials under In situ and Operando Conditions MRI: Acquisition of a Dual Transmission X-ray Diffractometer (DTXRD) for Studying the Local and Bulk Structure of Soft and Hard Materials under In situ and Operando Conditions Overview The central goal of this proposal is to acquire a dual transmission X-ray diffractometer (DTXRD) that will facilitate the research around the structure of a plethora of different types of materials and enable fundamental insights into the local arrangement of atoms, how it changes in response to external parameters (different temperatures, gas, working environments), formation mechanisms and ultimately the syntheses of next-generation materials that will unlock new technologies. These capabilities are currently not available at ASU and in the Southwest region of the US, yet will benefit academic and industrial researchers across a wide range of disciplines (chemistry, biochemistry, earth, planetary and materials science, physics, mechanical/electrical engineering, anthropology) at ASU and beyond. This remarkable diversity is reflected not only by the core team who work in solid-state (Birkel), physical (Sayres), polymer (Long) chemistry and materials (Chan) and quantum (Tongay) science, but also by the overwhelming support by more than 50 additional ASU faculty, at least 15 faculty at other US-wide facilities and several industrial partners. From a research perspective, the DTXRD ties directly into a number of single and multi-PI funded projects and centers at ASU, such as the FORCE (Facility for Open Research in a Compressed Environment), the Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe, and the Biodesign Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Materials and Manufacturing. From an education perspective, the DTXRD will be a platform to train a large cohort of PostDocs and Ph.D. students in diffraction techniques, crystallography, hard and soft materials, and will also facilitate the research and learning environment for undergraduate students on campus, including the first group of REU students expected in the summer of 2022 (yearly thereafter). Additional outreach activities are (online) lectures of experts in the field of diffraction/synchrotron techniques, networking at the MateriAlZ Winter School to be launched in late 2022 and dissemination of the research outcomes in journals, conferences and on social media channels. Intellectual Merit Materials are at the heart of (new) technologies that ensure the growth and prosperity of our economy directly benefitting our society on many different levels. Deep and detailed insights into the structure of these materials are crucial to develop new synthesis strategies and to design improved versions of as well as entirely new types of materials. The DTXRD combines two independent and simultaneously operable systems: (i) X-ray diffraction measurements (Cu/Mo radiation) in transmission geometry (maximizing data quality, especially for layered and 2D materials) that can be performed in capillaries (ideal for air-sensitive compounds) and automated (up to 30 samples), (ii) Diffraction experiments with Ag radiation enabling Pair Distribution Analysis (local structure of crystalline as well as low- and non-crystalline species) including a reaction chamber and cryostream (variable temperature between 40 and 1,800 K and gas atmosphere) and coin/pouch cell additions for operando measurements under electrochemical conditions. These new capabilities will propel a plethora of research projects forward that strive to develop new energy and quantum materials, nanostructures, thin films, electronics, magnetic, organic and polymer compounds. Broader Impacts The outcome of this proposal will be the development of new materials and technologies across multiple disciplines transcending into further US-wide academic institutions, including universities with limited research opportunities for students, and industrial partners. The DTXRD will provide a unique and powerful learning experience for a large student body at ASU and beyond by hands-on training and research projects, (online) courses on diffraction, crystallography and materials syntheses, and additional outreach activities in the form of workshops, lectures and accessible social media content. Undergraduate students will be exposed to this state-of-the-art diffractometer during their participation in the REU program Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Sustainable Chemistry and Catalysis at Arizona State University. Besides, we will make the DTXRD a part of the new MateriAlZ Winter School that will facilitate networking, recruitment and exchange of ideas while promoting materials science efforts in Arizona. Based on the established MateriAlZ Seminar Series organized by ASU and the University of Arizona, we expect significant interest and reach of the new Arizona-based winter school.
Effective start/end date9/1/228/31/25


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $557,841.00


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