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iCFN: Message from CFN Director Emilio Mendez

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Emilio Mendez

Welcome, everyone, to the first issue of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials’ new digital newsletter, iCFN. Our state-of-the art capabilities to fabricate and study nanoscale materials can only be fully realized if we continue to attract top talent and engage our diverse user community. To that end, iCFN will provide a regular platform to celebrate our groundbreaking research and enhance communications among staff, users, and external audiences.

Just as we execute atomic-level tailoring of new technologies, iCFN will be custom-tailored to the immediate needs of the CFN community—although this latter task is, admittedly, quite a bit easier than nanofabrication. The content will change as needed to reflect the always-changing landscape here at Brookhaven Lab, and the regular features in this newsletter are designed to promote a lively, ongoing dialogue between the CFN staff and users:


  • information from the User Executive Committee Chair
  • inside the CFN User Office
  • insight into CFN: News and Notes
  • investigations at CFN: Research Highlights
  • interview with a CFN Scientist

As you can see, the content runs the gamut from the logistics of instrument allocation to an in-depth interview with a valued member of the CFN team. My hope is that iCFN will accurately reflect the culture and climate here, and draw attention to all the ways in which we can continue our pursuit of discovery-class science.

We just finished a very strong year, growing from 363 users to 446 by the end of 2012. Some of our scientific highlights can be found in our News and Notes section, but I’d like to draw special attention to a new member of our staff without whom this newsletter (and many other initiatives) would not be possible. Physicist James Dickerson joined CFN in August as Assistant Director, overseeing our growing user program and launching new programs to raise the profile of our work and promote the extraordinary opportunities available here.

I look forward to another very productive year in 2013 full of bold scientific achievements. CFN users and staff will see several new instruments become available for research, including a compact x-ray source for advanced characterizations, a reactor STEM for elevated pressure microscopy, and an ambient pressure XPS for simulating catalytic reactions under realistic conditions.

I would like to remind everyone about our important link with the Photon Sciences Directorate, and in particular our critical role in the successful launch of the National Synchrotron Light Source II. The NSLS/CFN Joint Users’ Meeting in May will be an opportunity to share findings and discuss the future direction of mutually beneficial research. The materials characterization possible at NSLS-II will immediately drive nanofabrication forward, and our fleet of instruments and expertise will help build beamline lenses to fully exploit the potential of the new light source. I encourage everyone to engage NSLS users and to broaden your scientific horizons to include their current and future capabilities.

Thank you all for joining me for this first issue of iCFN! Please read all the sections, offer feedback about all things CFN, and help us make 2013 our best year yet.

— Emilio Mendez
Director, Center for Functional Nanomaterials

2013-3563  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office