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Goali: Research And Development Of Chip-Integrated, Magnetic-Resonance-Based Platforms For Chemical Sensing Of Trace Systems And Nuclear Polarization Of Fluids


<p>With this GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) award from the Chemical Measurements and Imaging program in the Chemistry Division and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities in the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Directorate, Professors Carlos Meriles at the City College of New York (CCNY) and Orlando Auciello of the University of Texas at Dallas and their students will partner with investigators at Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc. (ADT), Romeoville, IL to perform basic and applied research and development of novel technologies that exploit the properties of near-surface paramagnetic defects in diamond. The project will combine crystal growth techniques, spin control schemes, and microfluidics and molecular labeling technology to develop chip-integrated structures where a target analyte is brought in contact with paramagnetic centers -- specifically nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers and substitutional nitrogen -- generated near the surface of ultra-pure diamond. The central goal is to use the paramagnetic centers as sensitive probes tailored to detect the presence of pre-defined trace materials in solution. The research plan includes a range of proof-of-principle experiments explicitly conceived to facilitate the transfer of these sensing technologies to the market. The basic and applied science to be performed and the systems that will ensue are likely to find broad use ranging from chemical analysis and medical diagnostics, to bio-defense, environmental monitoring, and food safety. Magnetic resonance (MR) measurements are well known for the usefulness in medical imaging, but a close variant of these measurements are widely used in chemical analysis because they provide a wealth of information about sample composition and molecular structure. However, the detection limits of MR measurements are typically too high for use in trace analyses, such as environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics. This project will seek to lower the detection limits of MR measurements by coupling the target molecule to tags that produce very strong MR signals as they interact with deliberately induced defects in diamond films. Besides the technological and scientific advantages, this project will enrich the education of PhD students and postdocs through training in entrepreneurship and new venture creation. To meet this goal, the investigators plan various activities that build on the close ties to their industrial collaborator ADT, a company presently commercializing a new generation of industrial and biodevices based on exclusive thin-film diamond technology. The proposed R&D program includes internships for students and postdocs under the combined supervision of an academic mentor and an industry partner, student-oriented seminars by lead industrial scientists, and regular cyber-enabled interactions designed to facilitate the transfer of research results to industry. These plans gain special meaning at CCNY and UTD, two institutions with a large population of minority students. Capitalizing on the various recruitment channels at hand, the teaching, mentoring and career counseling components of this project will truly broaden participation, while encouraging groups underrepresented in the sciences to pursue scientific careers both in academia and industry.</p>

Meriles, Carlos A; Auciello, Orlando; Arumugam, Prabhu
City College of New York
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