Mike Brady has recently been appointed to the role as a joint Molecular Foundry/ALS project scientist following the departure of Elaine Chan. Mike’s mission will focus on (1) fostering user collaboration and displaying the novel Foundry-ALS working mode that uniquely enables iterative materials discovery research, and on (2) team-based, soft matter research that links molecular structure and function in biomimetic and biopolymer coatings, polymer-inorganic composites, inorganic nanomaterials, and hybrid organic frameworks.
Previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the soft X-ray scattering instrument (Beamline 11.0.1) at the ALS, Mike has a strong background in nanoscale materials science, in which he holds a B.S. (University of Florida) and PhD (University of California, Santa Barbara). He has extensively used SAXS/WAXS (ALS Beamline 7.3.3) and soft X-ray scattering to characterize molecular structure and link it to material performance of polymer thin films and organic electronic blends. SAXS/WAXS at Beamline 7.3.3 is a multimodal, high throughput analytical tool to study heterogeneous structure in organics, inorganics, and composites from 0.1 nm to 1 micron, and its high throughput nature exactly matches that of the synthetic and fabrication capabilities, which will be equally as the theoretical structure simulation and electron microscopy real space imaging, at the Molecular Foundry. Together, these two facilities will provide a unique and experimental platform for closing the loop on the design, synthesis, processing, and analysis of new hybrid organic/inorganic materials in a multimodal, iterative, and dynamic manner.
Mike’s focus will be on coordinating scientific collaboration between the two research centers, which focus on materials’ creation, nanofabrication, and analysis (Molecular Foundry), and materials’ electronic and molecular structure characterization (Advanced Light Source). In addition, Mike will seek out opportunities to enable new science directions by initiating collaborative projects, with research performed at both institutes, with academic, government, and industry partners. Finally, Mike will remain strongly focused on research directions of his own in biopolymers and their coatings, electrolytic and sorption membranes, and functional polymer-inorganic composites. In all projects, the expertise delivered by Mike and his team will focus on detailed understanding of processing and thus structural attributes of the material, and how these relate to the material design and performance.