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May 2016

The Foundry's Jim Ciston Wins DOE Early Career Award

Molecular Foundry staff scientist, Jim Ciston, was selected by DOE to receive the prestigious Early Career Research Program award, which supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. In 2016, 49 awards were made from 720 proposals. 

“We invest in promising young researchers early in their careers to support lifelong discovery science to fuel the nation’s innovation system,” said Cherry Murray, director of DOE’s Office of Science.  “We are proud of the accomplishments these young scientists already have made, and look forward to following their achievements in years to come.”

Working at the Foundry's National Center for Electron Microscopy, Dr. Ciston has proposed to develop a new technique called MAPSTER Microscopy, which stands for Multimodal Acquisition of Properties and Structure with Transmission Electron Reciprocal‐space Microscopy. 

MAPSTER Microscopy aims to simultaneously map multiple material properties at the atomic scale using a new generation of high‐speed detectors. MAPSTER Microscopy supersedes the conventional "image of atoms" approach of electron microscopy in favor of massive data analytics where one can effectively perform many virtual experiments from a single multidimensional dataset. Key algorithm and instrument developments will also turn this complex methodology into a user‐accessible capability for the Molecular Foundry that directly outputs materials property maps at the nanoscale without burying scientists under hard drives full of data. Complex metal oxides offer an extensive array of applications in data storage, energy generation, microscopic motors, and power transmission enabled by strong couplings between properties such as strain, polarization, local distortion and electromagnetic fields. These coordinated features can be probed simultaneously in the MAPSTER paradigm to directly link the atomic structure, mesoscale properties, and overall performance of these materials. MAPSTER Microscopy will also enable mapping of structural domains in soft materials and high‐throughput characterization of combinatorial nanoscale syntheses, supporting unique strengths of the Molecular Foundry. MAPSTER Microscopy is transformational in its ability to extract multiple simultaneous properties from a single dataset at the atomic scale to directly address the Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences Grand Challenge: "How do remarkable properties of matter emerge from complex correlations of the atomic or electronic constituents and how can we control these properties?"

Read the full press release.