Oak Ridge Launches New Institute for Imaging

Focus is on developing new high-tech materials for solar cells and superconductors. 

The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a new institute that will use  advanced supercomputing and imaging techniques to discover, design, and deploy new materials. The Institute for Funcional Imaging of Materials (IFIM) will develop specialized materials for use in superconductors, batteries, solar cells, and other high-tech products.
According to IFIM director Sergei Kalinin, "Advances in imaging over two decades make it possible to observe and identify individual atoms in materials, but knowing the position and chemical identity of atoms is not sufficient to understand how these atoms function in a material. Advances in imaging are now catalyzing a major transition in this field, making it possible to determine not only where things are, but what things do."
The goal is to use modeling and imaging techniques to get a head start on finding the ideal chemical composition for materials that will serve a predefined industrial role. Kalinin adds, "Real-time data analytics will allow us to build a bridge between materials theory and function."
IFIM supports President Obama's Materials Genome Initiative, announced in 2011, which has the mission "to help businesses discover, develop, and deploy new materials twice as fast."