Mike, in collaboration with UVM Professors Madalina Furis (Physics), Linda Schadler (Dean, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences), and Appala Raju Badireddy (Civil and Environmental Engineering), was awarded a $400,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the purchase of an advanced experimental instrument. The grant, from the Division of Materials Research (NSF-DMR 1919610), will be used to procure a Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) instrument, an advanced imagining and spectroscopy setup enabling vibrational measurements with significant spatial resolution, on the order of nanometers.

The spectrometer is currently being developed and built by Horiba, one of the world leading instrument manufacturers. It includes a number of important capabilities that will complement the research of the Ruggiero Group, including an ultra-low frequency filter permitting spectral acquisitions from less than 5 cm-1 to 9,000 cm-1. Additionally, a conventional Raman confocal microscopy setup and a temperature controlled stage will enable the properties of advanced materials to be elucidated with unprecedented detail. The capabilities of the new instrument, coupled with the ongoing work being performed in the Ruggiero group, will make UVM one of the foremost institutions in the field of low-frequency vibrational spectroscopy. Mike and the rest of the group are very excited for the instrument installation, currently scheduled for late February, 2020.

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