Joint UT-ORNL Engineering Professor Helps Develop Hybrid Microscope

A microscope being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow scientists studying biological and synthetic materials to simultaneously observe chemical and physical properties on and beneath the surface.ORNL_outline

The Hybrid Photonic Mode-Synthesizing Atomic Force Microscope is unique, according to principal investigator Ali Passian of ORNL’s Quantum Information System group and associate professor in both physics and chemical and biomolecular engineering at UT.

As a hybrid, the instrument, described in a paper published in Nature Nanotechnology, combines the disciplines of nanospectroscopy and nanomechanical microscopy.

“Our microscope offers a noninvasive rapid method to explore materials simultaneously for their chemical and physical properties,” Passian said. “It allows researchers to study the surface and subsurface of synthetic and biological samples, which is a capability that until now didn’t exist.”

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