iCFN: Message from CFN Director Emilio Mendez

Emilio Mendez

Emilio Mendez

As the Brookhaven campus springs back to life and the flowers begin to bloom, I would like to celebrate the growth we have experienced here at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials. From the number of users to the studies published in prestigious journals, the CFN's value and impact continue to grow.

At the end of our first year of operations in 2008, 107 facility users joined the CFN staff to begin probing nanoscale materials and making strides in both the basic and applied sciences. By the end of 2012, that number had soared to 446 users—a 400 percent increase that stems from the introduction of new instruments, the team of staff scientists that are unqualified leaders in their fields, and our many ongoing collaborations. We have been able to attract users from all over the world, and each of them has further raised the caliber of research at CFN. I am proud of this achievement, and I am grateful to all of you who have demonstrated such dedication and commitment to science.

But more important than the number of users at the CFN is the quality of the research itself, and on that front I am happy to report that the CFN is doing quite well. We produced just 34 journal publications in 2008, but that number rose to 194 last year. This is certainly praiseworthy, especially because we find a healthy author distribution among staff, users, and collaborations between the two groups.

I also want to emphasize that a full third of last year's cutting-edge research publications appeared in high-impact journals, such as Nature, Science, Nano Letters, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS Nano, and Physical Review Letters. In addition, one patent was issued to the CFN in 2012, with eight more patent applications pending. 

We will, of course, continue to grow and increase the impact and breadth of CFN research. We're in the process of adding new staff right now, to be selected from a large pool of exceptional applicants at the top of their fields.

I want to remind everyone to attend and participate in our upcoming NSLS/CFN Joint User's Meeting from May 20-22. This is an important opportunity to listen, interact, and enhance the CFN and Photon Sciences communities. The meeting will focus in part on methods of effectively communicating your work to wider audiences, including the public and policy-makers. This is a more and more important consideration for scientists, and I encourage you to get involved.

Congratulations to the organizers and participants of the recent Workshop on Electron-Beam Lithography! The interactions were simply outstanding, and I witnessed high engagement and excellent questions from our community. CFN is a hub for discussion, collaboration, and education, and the workshop demonstrated that superbly.

Finally, you should be aware that DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) will conduct their triennial Operations Review of the CFN from September 17 to 19. CFN users will be invited to participate in preparation and execution of this review, including presentations, interviews, posters, and talkbacks. 

Enjoy the rest of this issue of iCFN, which features breakthroughs on the resolution limits of electron-beam lithography, 10 questions with electron microscopy expert Eli Sutter, an interview with CFN industrial users from Graphene Laboratories, as well as the usual important reminders and updates on everything happening here at CFN.

Have a great spring and summer! I look forward to exciting discoveries and collaborations on the horizon.

— Emilio Mendez
Director, Center for Functional Nanomaterials

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