New Materials Development at the Soleil Synchrotron

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The development of new materials for electronics or a host of other applications has become a difficult task. This is due in part because these new materials are small or thin and can be only a few nanometers across (5000x smaller than the width of a human hair). At these small scales, macroscopic properties change in ways that depend on shape and size. Metals become insulators, opaque materials become transparent and new physics begins to take hold. This is the definition of the “nano-world”. In order to study these new nano-materials, instruments must not only be capable of seeing these objects, they must also be able to tell their chemical makeup and determine their electronic properties. Scientific instruments capable of studying nano-objects are powerful, complex to build and operate, and expensive. This means that the days of a single scientist working alone in his or her lab are long gone.In this lecture, Georgia Tech Physics Professor Ed Conrad and Director of Research at the CNRS Amina Taleb will give a feel for how modern research is conducted in the era of small materials and big machines, showing an example of an international materials research collaboration between Geogia Tech’s School of Physics and researchers at the Synchrotron Soleil near Paris. Soleil is one of the brightest light sources in the world and uses Einstein’s Nobel-winning theory of the photoelectric effect to “see” how electrons move in a solid. The goal of the collaboration is to develop a new type of electronics based on graphene; a single atomic layer of graphite.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Michael Hagearty
  • Created: 09/03/2014
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 04/13/2017