Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Home > News > A team led by Professor Mark Snyder wins a highly competitive NSF MRI Award

A team led by Professor Mark Snyder wins a highly competitive NSF MRI Award

Dr. Mark Snyder, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, along with a team of faculty from Lehigh including Dr. Kai Landskron (Chemistry), Dr. Bryan Berger (ChE), and Dr. Himanshu Jain (Mat. Sci.), has received a $340,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. The grant will allow Dr. Snyder and his colleagues to acquire a state-of-the-art versatile X-ray diffractometer to fill a critical gap in Lehigh University’s microscopy/spectroscopy materials characterization infrastructure enabling unique, comprehensive materials characterization for seamless correlation of material structure and function. The versatility of the instrument for complementary interrogation of a wide range of biological, organic and inorganic sample types should facilitate multi-disciplinary efforts of researchers spanning Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Earth and Environmental Science, and Physics, among others, and enhance educational opportunities for students. By enabling ‘one-stop’ materials characterization unique to the region in which Lehigh University is located, the X-ray diffractometer should impact numerous regional start-up companies to well-established industries as well as colleagues at 4 or more local non-PhD granting, but research-active, colleges and universities.

The uniquely configured X-ray diffractometer will have simultaneous and continuous small- and wide-angle capabilities and multi-collimated (line, point) X-ray beam configurations suitable for probing even weakly scattering isotropic and anisotropic samples of a wide range of compositions (e.g., solutions, gels, powders, films) and temperatures.  Capabilities for in situ tensiometry, grazing incidence small- and moderate wide-angle thin film studies, and biologics analysis uniquely equip this single instrument for comprehensive, non-destructive, and high-resolution multi-scale (i.e., molecular to meso-scale) insight into a diverse range of biological, polymeric and inorganic samples that will augment, integrate and create new, transformative materials analysis distinct from existing state-of-the-art microscopy, spectroscopy, and proximal probe tools at Lehigh. 

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