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A Blog Devoted to UD Innovation, Excellence and Scholarship

Research & Discovery

A Blog Devoted to UD Innovation, Excellence and Scholarship

Scoping out new science

by | October 3, 2019

New microscope with dual capabilities supports multitude of studies

ABOVE: Rachel McCormick (second from left) gives fellow doctoral student Devon Haugh (left) and Wofford College undergrad Savannah Talledo some training in how to use the new microscope, as Prof. Karl Booksh looks on. | Photo by Evan Krape

New microscope with dual capabilities supports multitude of studies

A single strand of DNA. The toxic pollutants in a waft of air. A paint sample from a priceless work of art. Flakes of a Martian meteorite. That’s only a smattering of what scientists will be able to examine with the new microscope — an atomic force-Raman microscope, to be exact — now housed in the University of Delaware’s Lammot du Pont Laboratory.

“UD is excited to add this important and state-of-the-art new tool to our suite of instruments for examining materials at high resolution,” said Charles G. Riordan, vice president for research, scholarship and innovation. “With this capability, UD faculty, students and staff will be able to drive research and education forward in a wide array of fields, from engineering to physical sciences to art conservation.”

The new microscope will help researchers go where they couldn’t before. Previous scopes just didn’t have the super-high resolution and chemistry-uncovering power this one has.

“This microscope will allow scientists to see objects 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair — plus provide detailed information about both the surface of a material and its chemistry,” said Karl Booksh, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and the rallying force behind UD’s successful proposal to the National Science Foundation. NSF came through with a $558,228 grant from its Major Research Instrumentation and Chemistry Research Instrumentation programs and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The UD Research Office also helped support the cost of the instrument, which was purchased from Horiba, a leading provider of analytical and scientific measurement systems.

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