Clarion University physics professor awarded grant

From staff reports

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $151,940 to Clarion University physics professor Chunfei Li.

This latest grant brings the total of NSF grants awarded to Li since 2011 to $700,545.

The grant will be used to purchase an electron back scattering diffraction, an attachment for Clarion’s existing scanning electron microscope. It is rare, even at the national level, for a teaching university to have this level of instrumentation, according the university.

The college’s state-of-the-art, research-grade scanning electron microscope, purchased in 2013 through a prior NSF grant, allows students to observe subjects at the nanometer level. The addition of the electron back scattering diffraction will enable researchers to gather information regarding crystallography – how atoms are arranged in a solid structure – down to 100 nanometers, according to the university.

“Crystallography is an important part of material science,” Li said. “The EBSD will give our students firsthand experience in this aspect.”

In the past two years, 10 Clarion students have carried out research or independent study with scanning electron microscope.

The university’s scanning electron microscope has also been utilized by high school students through the college’s Science in Motion program.