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P.O. Box 5000
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founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle

News Release

Number: 03-53
Released: July 1, 2003
Contact: Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Robert Hwang Named Director of Brookhaven Lab’s New Center for Functional Nanomaterials

click to download hi-res image of Robert Hwang

Click image for hi-res jpg.

UPTON, NY - Robert Hwang has been named Director of Brookhaven Lab’s new Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), effective March 1.

Construction on the CFN at Brookhaven is due to begin in 2005. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the Office of Science, it will be one of five nanoscience centers built at DOE national laboratories. The 85,000-square-foot center at Brookhaven will provide scientists from universities, industry and other laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities to study nanomaterials — materials the size of a few billionths of a meter.

Since nanomaterials have different chemical and physical properties than bulk materials, researchers may be able to tailor them to create unique materials with new and better properties. The functional nanomaterials resulting from studies at the Brookhaven center are expected to have broad applications as the basis of future technology, such as faster computers, improved solar energy conversion and more efficient catalysis of chemical reactions.

“I’ve worked in nanoscience for much of my scientific career, and this new position at Brookhaven is an exciting opportunity for me,” Hwang said. “It’s also an exciting time for Brookhaven, since the new center will give scientists from Brookhaven and from around the nation the opportunity to do research in new areas and in new ways. The whole nation will reap the benefits of this forefront research.”

The CFN at Brookhaven will be located adjacent to Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), a facility where, each year, about 2,500 scientists from around the world use x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light to reveal the structure and function of a wide range of physical materials and biological specimens. Composed of state-of-the-art laboratories and computational facilities for the synthesis, characterization and modeling of nanomaterials, the CFN will couple with and complement the unique capabilities of the NSLS.

“Nanoscience is a multidisciplinary field, and Brookhaven is a multidisciplinary Laboratory, so we will draw on this strength in research at the new nanocenter,” Hwang commented. “Capabilities for nanoscience research will be set up within the chemistry, materials science, physics, and instrumentation buildings.”

Robert Hwang earned a B.S. in physics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1981, and a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from the University of Maryland in 1988. He became a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California at Berkeley and DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1989, and, in 1990, he received an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to pursue research at the University of Munich, Germany.

Hwang joined DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories in 1991, in the Advanced Materials Research Division. He was appointed manager of the Thin Film and Interface Science Department in 1999, the position he held before coming to Brookhaven.

More information on Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials, including a call for research proposals, can be found at the following web site: www.cfn.bnl.gov