The Annual Excellence in X-ray Diffraction Scholarship

At the 2008 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting opening today at the Moscone Center, Bruker AXS, a leading global provider of advanced X-ray solutions for life and advanced materials sciences, announced that it is again awarding its annual Excellence in X-ray Diffraction (XRD) scholarship -- based on unique experiments performed by university students. Recognizing academic achievement in advanced XRD, Bruker AXS will present its $6,000 scholarship for the most unique application in the fields of nanotechnology, materials science, geology, or chemistry at the Fall MRS Meeting in Boston.

Applicants must be a full-time graduate student or undergraduate student at a recognized university in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Submitted applications are to have been performed on a Bruker AXS instrument. Papers should be limited to no more than eight pages and must be submitted by September 30, 2008 to be considered. The scholarship winner and runner-up will again be selected by an independent panel of judges from industry and academia.

The annual Bruker AXS XRD $6,000 scholarship in 2007 went to Ph.D. student Michelene E. Miller at Alfred University for her research paper “Novel Processing of Microporous Glass-Ceramics for Gas Separation.” She is advised by Dr. Scott T. Misture, Professor of Materials Science at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, NY. “Using high temperature XRD, we determined that nickel-doped cordierite glass-ceramics are candidates for application as permeability-controlled microporous membranes to separate out carbon dioxide and hydrogen gases in fossil fuel power plants, both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating hydrogen,” explained Miller.

Professor Misture's group studies the dynamic behavior of oxide ceramics and glasses related to energy conversion devices. Projects generally rely on detailed in-situ characterization using X-rays and neutrons to understand the relationships between structure and properties. Their recent work has focused on the effects of atmosphere and humidity on structure, phase stability, and conductivity at high temperature.

Their current research focuses on materials for solid oxide fuel cells and hydrogen production. Funded by the NSF, DOE, EPA, and other agencies, their work centers on solid oxide fuel cells and photocatalysts.

Last year’s runner-up was Ph.D. student Qian Zhang from the University of Montreal. His research paper is entitled, “A simple XRD setup to track in situ the evolution of structural order in polymer liquid crystals exposed to solvent vapour.” Qian Zhang’s research concentrates on physical and optical studies of azo-surfactomesogen/polyelectrolyte complexes. He is advised by Professor C. Geraldine Bazuin of the University of Montreal’s Department of Chemistry. Professor Bazuin’s research concentrates on the development of novel supramolecular and nanostructured polymeric materials. “Our particular areas of interest include liquid crystalline materials, block copolymers, blends, ionomers, nanopatterns on surfaces, ultrathin films, and applications in optoelectronics and gene delivery,” indicated Professor Bazuin.

“We are excited again this year to provide a Bruker XRD scholarship to another exceptional student,” says Uwe Preckwinkel, Bruker AXS XRD Sales and Marketing Manager. “Both Bruker AXS and the judges have been impressed by the quality of the XRD experiments all these future X-ray scientists have been performing over the years, and the valuable scientific results they have been obtaining,” adds Dr. Frank Burgaezy, Executive Vice President of Bruker AXS in charge of the company’s global XRD and XRF business.

Bruker AXS scientists are available at the Company’s MRS Spring Meeting booth (Number 404) to discuss the award and recent student XRD research findings. Bruker AXS will publish the various 2008 XRD papers on a CD to be distributed to the press, MRS Fall Meeting attendees, other scientists, and research libraries worldwide.

The 2008 MRS Spring Meeting features 41 technical symposia in five topical clusters and international exhibits highlighting products and services of interest to many thousands of attendees from all sectors of the global materials science and engineering communities. For more information, please visit

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