UWM scientists to contribute to first-of-its kind scientific imaging effort

UWM is a partner on a $90.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation that supports the development of the next generation of X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) – novel instruments used to unmask phenomena that have never before been observed.

Since 2009, XFELs have enabled scientists to examine how molecules in the human body and in a variety of materials change over split-second intervals, important knowledge to help understand human health and medicine. The technology will also help advance renewable energy research, quantum technologies, and semiconductor manufacturing.

But, because of the current kilometer-long XFEL’s with billion-dollar construction costs, the technology is available at only five facilities worldwide. The goal of this NSF grant is to build a compact XFEL, or CXFEL, that can accomplish the same tasks but in the space of a single room. The funding was awarded to Arizona State University and 11 collaborating institutions, including UWM.

The UWM team, led by Distinguished Professor of Physics Abbas Ourmazd and including Professor Peter Schwander, Senior Scientist Russell Fung, and Assistant Professor Ahmad Hosseinizadeh, has received nearly 3 million in funding to develop machine-learning algorithms to analyze data collected by this cutting-edge instrument.

This post is a slightly condensed version of an article in the UWM Report, written by Laura Otto. The original posting may be found here.