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Tech Beat - January 19, 2011

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Editor: Michael Baum
Date created: January 19, 2011
Date Modified: January 19, 2011 
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New Wave: JILA Develops Efficient Source of Terahertz Radiation

JILA researchers have developed a laser-based source of terahertz radiation that is unusually efficient and less prone to damage than similar systems. The technology might be useful in applications such as detecting trace gases or imaging weapons in security screening.

terahertz radiation instrument terahertz radiation instrument
JILA instrument for generating terahertz radiation. Ultrafast pulses of near-infrared laser light enter through the lens at left, striking a semiconductor wafer studded with electrodes (transparent square barely visible under the white box connected to orange wires) bathed in an oscillating electric field. The light dislodges electrons, which accelerate in the electric field and emit waves of terahertz radiation. At right is a close-up of the electron source.
Credit: Zhang/JILA
View hi-resolution left image
View hi-resolution right image

JILA is a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Terahertz radiation—which falls between the radio and optical bands of the electromagnetic spectrum—penetrates materials such as clothing and plastic but can be used to detect many substances that have unique absorption characteristics at these wavelengths. Terahertz systems are challenging to build because they require a blend of electronic and optical methods.

The JILA technology, described in Optics Letters,* is a new twist on a common terahertz source, a semiconductor surface patterned with metal electrodes and excited by ultrafast laser pulses. An electric field is applied across the semiconductor while near-infrared pulses lasting about 70 femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second), produced 89 million times per second, dislodge electrons from the semiconductor. The electrons accelerate in the electric field and emit waves of terahertz radiation.

The JILA innovations eliminate two known problems with these devices. Adding a layer of silicon oxide insulation between the gallium arsenide semiconductor and the gold electrodes prevents electrons from becoming trapped in semiconductor crystal defects and producing spikes in the electric field. Making the electric field oscillate rapidly by applying a radiofrequency signal ensures that electrons generated by the light cannot react quickly enough to cancel the electric field.

The result is a uniform electric field over a large area, enabling the use of a large laser beam spot size and enhancing system efficiency. Significantly, users can boost terahertz power by raising the optical power without damaging the semiconductor. Sample damage was common with previous systems, even at low power. Among other advantages, the new technique does not require a microscopically patterned sample or high-voltage electronics. The system produces a peak terahertz field (20 volts per centimeter for an input power of 160 milliwatts) comparable to that of other methods.

While there are a number of different ways to generate terahertz radiation, systems using ultrafast lasers and semiconductors are commercially important because they offer an unusual combination of broad frequency range, high frequencies, and high intensity output. 

NIST has applied for a provisional patent on the new technology. The system currently uses a large laser based on a titanium-doped sapphire crystal but could be made more compact by use of a different semiconductor and a smaller fiber laser, says senior author Steven Cundiff, a NIST physicist.

* H. Zhang J.K. Wahlstrand, S.B. Choi and S.T. Cundiff. Contactless photoconductive terahertz generation. Optics Letters, Jan. 15, 2011.

Media Contact: Laura Ost, laura.ost@nist.gov, 303-497-4880

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Eggs Show Arctic Mercury Cycling May Be Linked to Ice Cover

An international research team working with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (HML) in Charleston, S.C., has suggested for the first time that mercury cycling in the flora and fauna of the Arctic may be linked to the amount of ice cover present. Their study* is the latest work reported from the Seabird Tissue Archival and Monitoring Project (STAMP), a multiyear joint effort of NIST, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to track trends in pollutants in northern marine environments using seabird eggs.

common murres sitting on floating ice
Common murres sitting on floating ice near Cape Lisburne, Alaska. Eggs from this species are being used to monitor the cycling of mercury in the Arctic biosphere.
Credit: D. Roseneau, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
View hi-resolution image

Overall mercury levels in northern environments have been documented for some 20 years. However, the new study marks the first time that the tracking has been done using a sophisticated analysis of mercury isotopes (forms of the same atom that have different atomic masses) and an effect called "mass-independent fractionation" or MIF.

MIF is a relatively unusual change in the relative abundance of different isotopes of the same element (fractionation) that can be the result of photochemical reactions. Determining the relative amount of the MIF isotopes of mercury is considered valuable because the data can be used to trace the reactions in nature that led to the fractionation—and in turn, provide a better understanding of how the reactions work and how they impact the cycling of mercury in the environment.

Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight can fractionate mercury on the ocean surface via a process known as photodegradation. Laboratory research has shown that this reaction preferentially selects for some isotopes of mercury to move into the atmosphere while others become more abundant in the ocean. Plankton absorb the water-borne mercury, fish eat the plankton, and finally, sea birds eat the fish and pass the ingested mercury into their eggs. Therefore, the eggs are key tissues for mercury monitoring. For the current study, field groups made up of biologists and native Alaskans (for whom seabird eggs are a food source) collected eggs laid by murres, a bird species that nests year-round in three coastal regions of Alaska.

Examination of murre eggs from the northernmost nesting areas where sea ice exists all year long revealed lower amounts of MIF mercury isotopes than in eggs collected from sites in southern Alaska where there is no ice cover. Conversely, the mercury in eggs from nests near ice-free seas reflected significantly greater effects of mass-independent fractionation. The researchers believe that ice prevents UV light from reaching the mercury, effectively suppressing photodegradation.

With the potential for global warming to dramatically reduce Arctic sea ice in the future, the relationship between ice cover and distribution of mercury in the environment is obviously an important one to investigate further. The international research team next plans to use its seabird egg isotope monitoring system to distinguish the sources of mercury contamination in coastal areas to those from oceanic waters. For this study, eggs will be collected along Alaska's Norton Sound that receives runoff from the Yukon River—including high concentrations of cinnabar, the ore from which mercury is derived—and compared to eggs from remote island colonies that are more influenced by atmospheric and oceanic mercury sources.

Teaming on this study with NIST scientists at the HML were staff from the USFWS Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (Homer, Alaska), Environment Canada (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), the Labotatoire des Mécanismes et Transferts en Géologie (Toulouse, France) and the Institut Pluridisciplinaire de Recherche sur ľEnvironnement et les Matreriaux (Pau, France). Financial support for the research was provided by NIST, the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and a grant from the French Agence Nationale de Recherche.

The HML is a unique partnership of governmental and academic agencies including NIST, NOAA's National Ocean Service, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina.

* D. Point, J.E. Sonke, R.D. Day, D.G. Roseneau, K.A. Hobson, S.S. Vander Pol, A.J. Moors, R.S. Pugh, O.F.X. Donard and P.R. Becker. Methylmercury photodegradation influenced by sea ice over in Arctic marine ecosystems. Nature Geoscience. Published online Jan. 16, 2011.

Media Contact: Michael E. Newman, michael.newman@nist.gov, 301-975-3025

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NIST Advances Single Photon Management for Quantum Computers

The quantum computers of tomorrow might use photons, or particles of light, to move around the data they need to make calculations, but photons are tricky to work with. Two new papers* by researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have brought science closer to creating reliable sources of photons for these long-heralded devices.

photon source
Gated photon source starts with the bright green 532nm wavelength laser beam that strikes a crystal (bright green spot, center) and is converted into pairs of photons at 810nm (false colored blue here, it's at the end of the red spectrum) and 1550nm (in the infrared, false colored red here.). The "blue" beam is the herald channel, the "red" beam goes through a spool of optical fiber (right) to delay it long enough for the gate to open or shut.
Credit: Brida, INRIM
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In principle, quantum computers can perform calculations that are impossible or impractical using conventional computers by taking advantage of the peculiar rules of quantum mechanics. To do this, they need to operate on things that can be manipulated into specific quantum states. Photons are among the leading contenders.

The new NIST papers address one of the many challenges to a practical quantum computer: the need for a device that produces photons in ready quantities, but only one at a time, and only when the computer's processor is ready to receive them. Just as garbled data will confuse a standard computer, an information-bearing photon that enters a quantum processor together with other particles—or when the processor is not expecting it—can ruin a calculation.

The single-photon source has been elusive for nearly two decades, in part because no method of producing these particles individually is ideal. "It's a bit like playing a game of whack-a-mole, where solving one problem creates others," says Alan Migdall of NIST's Optical Technology Division. "The best you can do is keep all the issues under control somewhat. You can never get rid of them."

The team's first paper addresses the need to be certain that a photon is indeed coming when the processor is expecting it, and that none show up unexpected. Many kinds of single-photon sources create a pair of photons and send one of them to a detector, which tips off the processor to the fact that the second, information-bearing photon is on its way. But since detectors are not completely accurate, sometimes they miss the "herald" photon—and its twin zips into the processor, gumming up the works.

The team effort, in collaboration with researchers from the Italian metrology laboratory L'Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), handled the issue by building a simple gate into the source. When a herald photon reaches the detector, the gate opens, allowing the second photon past. "You get a photon when you expect one, and you don't get one when you don't," Migdall says. "It was an obvious solution; others proposed it long ago, we were just the first ones to build it. It makes the single photon source better."

In a second paper, the NIST team describes a photon source to address two other requirements. Quantum computers will need many such sources working in parallel, so sources must be able to be built in large numbers and operate reliably; and so that the computer can tell the photons apart, the sources must create multiple individual photons, but all at different wavelengths. The team outlines a way to create just such a source out of silicon, which has been well-understood by the electronics industry for decades as the material from which standard computer chips are built.

"Ordinarily a particular material can produce only pairs in a specific pair of wavelengths, but our design allows production of photons at a number of regular and distinct wavelengths simultaneously, all from one source," Migdall says. "Because the design is compatible with microfabrication techniques, this accomplishment is the first step in the process of creating sources that are part of integrated circuits, not just prototype computers that work in the hothouse of the lab."

* G. Brida, I. P. Degiovanni1, M. Genovese, A. Migdall, F. Piacentini, S. V. Polyakov and I. Ruo Berchera. Experimental realization of a low-noise heralded single-photon source. Optics Express, Jan. 14, 2011, pp. 1470 – 1483. DOI: 133913.
J. Chen, Z.H. Levine, J. Fan and A.L. Migdall. Frequency-bin entangled comb of photon pairs from a Silicon-on-Insulator micro-resonator. Optics Express, Jan. 14, 2011, pp. 1484 – 1492. DOI: 133346.

Media Contact: Chad Boutin, boutin@nist.gov, 301-975-4261

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Real-World Graphene Devices May Have a Bumpy Ride

Electronics researchers love graphene. A two-dimensional sheet of carbon one atom thick, graphene is like a superhighway for electrons, which rocket through the material with 100 times the mobility they have in silicon. But creating graphene-based devices will be challenging, say researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), because new measurements show that layering graphene on a substrate transforms its bustling speedway into steep hills and valleys that make it harder for electrons to get around.

In a new article in Nature Physics,* NIST scientists also say that graphene may be an ideal medium for probing interactions between electric conductors and insulators using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). 

According to NIST Fellow Joseph Stroscio, graphene's ideal properties are only available when it is isolated from the environment.

"To get the most benefit from graphene, we have to understand fully how graphene's properties change when put in real-world conditions, such as part of a device where it is in contact with other kinds of materials," Stroscio says.

Typical semiconductor chips are a complicated "sandwich" of alternating conducting, semiconducting and insulating layers and structures. To perform their experiment, the NIST group made their own sandwich with a single atomic sheet of graphene and another conductor separated by an insulating layer. When the bottom conductor is charged, it induces an equal and opposite charge in the graphene.

Examined under an STM, which is sensitive to the charged state of the graphene, the high electron mobility should make the graphene look like a featureless plane. But, says NIST researcher Nikolai Zhitenev, "What we found is that variations in the electrical potential of the insulating substrate are interrupting the orbits of the electrons in the graphene, creating wells where the electrons pool and reducing their mobility."

This effect is especially pronounced when the group exposes the substrate-mounted graphene to high magnetic fields. Then the electrons, already made sluggish by the substrate interactions, lack the energy to scale the mountains of resistance and settle into isolated pockets of "quantum dots," nanometer-scale regions that confine electrical charges in all directions.

It's not all bad news. Direct access to the graphene with a scanned probe also makes it possible to investigate the physics of other substrate interactions on a nanoscopic scale, something which is less possible in conventional semiconductor devices where the important transport layers are buried below the surface.

"Usually, we cannot study insulators at atomic scale," says Stroscio. "The STM works with a closed loop system that keeps a constant tunneling current by adjusting the tip-sample distance. On an insulator there is no current available, so the system will keep pushing the tip closer to the substrate until it eventually crashes into the surface. The graphene lets us get close enough to these substrate materials to study their electrical properties, but not so close that we damage the substrate and instrument." 

* S. Jung, G. Rutter, N. Klimov, D. Newell, I. Calizo, A. Hight-Walker, N. Zhitenev and J. Stroscio. Evolution of microscopic localization in graphene in a magnetic field from scattering resonances to quantum dots. Nature Physics. Published online Jan. 9, 2010, DOI:10.1038/nphys1866.

Media Contact: Mark Esser, mark.esser@nist.gov, 301-975-8735

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Stretching, the Truth: JILA Biophysicists Help Unravel DNA Stretching Mystery

Using a new experimental test structure, biophysicists at JILA have unraveled part of a 15-year mystery in the mechanics of DNA—just how the molecule manages to suddenly extend to almost twice its normal length. The new test structure should support research on DNA elasticity as a standard for tiny forces and help refine studies of how drugs and other substances bind to DNA.

stock image of DNA
Courtesy: Shutterstock/Benjamin Albiach Galan

In a new paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society,* JILA scientists disprove a leading explanation for DNA overstretching, a curious behavior in which the molecule's double helix structure (see image) suddenly extends by 70 percent when subjected to 65 picoNewtons (pN) of force. The exact steps of the process have been controversial since overstretching was discovered in 1996. Contrary to a popular theory, the new JILA work shows that DNA's backbone does not need to have a small gap, often called a nick, or sport loose ends for the dramatic extension to occur at 65 pN.

JILA is a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

"Overstretching is a really amazing phenomenon, and even after 15 years, people are still debating it," says senior author Tom Perkins, a NIST expert in the mechanics of single molecules. "DNA stretches and stretches like a rubber band and you think it's going to break, and then all of a sudden it nearly doubles in length. Something wonderfully interesting happens at this transition."

The leading theory is that overstretching introduces so much energy that the DNA melts, with a single strand peeling off from nicks in the backbone or free ends. This model assumes that nicks or ends are essential. Scientists did not test this assumption until now because there was no platform for restraining the ends without also locking the molecule's structure and rotation.

The JILA team's key advance was a clever geometry that binds a looped end of DNA to a micro-sized bead, while the other end of the DNA has both strands stapled to a surface. Lasers apply force to the bead and measure its position. The DNA has freedom to rotate but, crucially, no loose ends.

The researchers compared one piece of DNA without nicks or free ends to another piece of DNA they had nicked. They found that both molecules overstretched at essentially the same force, indicating the same mechanism is at work in both cases.

In addition to narrowing the focus of debate about overstretched DNA, Perkins says the findings and the new DNA test structure will support NIST efforts to develop an official picoNewton-scale force standard that is traceable to the International System of Units. A picoNewton is one-trillionth of a newton, the unit of force; one newton is roughly the weight of a small apple. DNA is already used informally as a calibration standard for atomic force microscopes. Further JILA studies are planned.

* D. H. Paik and T.T. Perkins. 2011. Overstretching DNA at 65 pN does not require peeling from free ends or nicks. Journal of the American Chemical Society. Published online Jan. 5, 2011.

Media Contact: Laura Ost, laura.ost@nist.gov, 303-497-4880

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NIST Puts a New Twist on the Electron Beam

Electron microscopes are among the most widely used scientific and medical tools for studying and understanding a wide range of materials, from biological tissue to miniature magnetic devices, at tiny levels of detail. Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found a novel and potentially widely applicable method to expand the capabilities of conventional transmission electron microscopes (TEMs). Passing electrons through a nanometer-scale grating, the scientists imparted the resulting electron waves with so much orbital momentum that they maintained a corkscrew shape in free space.

schematic
NIST researchers twisted the flat electron wavefronts into a fan of helices using a very thin film with a 5-micron-diameter pattern of nanoscale slits, which combines the wavefronts to create spiral forms similar to a pasta maker extruding rotini. This method produces several electron beams fanning out in different directions, with each beam made of electrons that orbit around the direction of the beam.
Credit: B. McMorran/NIST
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The development opens the possibility of adapting transmission electron microscopy, which can see tinier details than optical microscopy and can study a wider range of materials than scanning probe microscopy, for quick and inexpensive imaging of a larger set of magnetic and biological materials with atomic-scale resolution.

"The spiral shape and angular momentum of these electrons will let us look at a greater variety of materials in ways that were previously inaccessible to TEM users," said Ben McMorran, one of the authors of the forthcoming research paper. "Outfitting a TEM with a nanograting like we used in our experiment could be a low-cost way to dramatically expand the microscope's capabilities."

Although NIST researchers were not the first to manipulate a beam of electrons in this way, their device was much smaller, separated the fanned out beams 10 times more widely than previous experiments, and spun up the electrons with 100 times the orbital momentum. This increase in orbital momentum enabled them to determine that the electron corkscrew, while remarkably stable, gradually spreads out over time. The group's work was reported in the Jan. 14, 2011, issue of the journal Science.*

The corkscrewing electron beams have the potential to help obtain more information from magnetic materials, according to McMorran "Magnetism, at its most fundamental, results from charges spinning and orbiting, so an electron beam that itself carries angular momentum makes a good tool for probing magnetic materials."

This technique could also help improve TEM images of transparent objects like biological specimens. Biological material can be difficult to image in ordinary TEMs because electrons pass through it without deflecting. But by using corkscrew electron beams, researchers hope to provide high-contrast, high-resolution images of biological samples by looking at how the spiral wavefronts get distorted as they pass through such transparent objects.

While these imaging applications have not yet been demonstrated, producing corkscrew electrons with nanogratings in a TEM provides a significant step toward expanding the capabilities of existing microscopes.

For more details, read the NIST Jan. 13, 2011 news release, "NIST Puts a New Twist on the Electron Beam," at www.nist.gov/cnst/vortices_011311.cfm.

* B. McMorran, A. Agrawal, I. Anderson, A. Herzing, H. Lezec, J. McClelland and J. Unguris. Electron vortex beams with high quanta of orbital angular momentum. Science. Published Jan. 14, 2011.

Media Contact: Mark Esser, mark.esser@nist.gov, 301-975-8735

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National Program Office Planned for Online Trusted Identity Strategy

At a January 7, 2011 forum with Silicon Valley business and academic leaders at Stanford University, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt announced plans to create a National Program Office to help foster an environment in which sensitive online transactions can be carried out with greater levels of trust.

login screen
Courtesy: Shutterstock/Valerie Potapova

To be established within the Department of Commerce, with support from agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the National Program Office would coordinate federal activities needed to implement the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), an Obama administration initiative aimed at establishing identity solutions and privacy-enhancing technologies intended to make the online environment more secure and convenient. The national office would serve as the point of contact to bring the public and private sectors together to meet this challenge.

The NSTIC strategy does not call for a single, government-required Internet ID. Instead it  would rely on multiple, voluntary, identity providers—both private and public—and interoperable digital credentials that are based on agreed-upon standards for security and privacy. Such a marketplace-driven solution, among other advantages, would ensure that there is no single credential or centralized database. If people chose to opt into such a solution, they would continue to have the ability to communicate anonymously online, but still have secure authentication for business and sensitive on-line transactions.

A web site on NSTIC, including a frequently asked questions section and a webcast of the Jan. 7 forum, can be found at http://www.nist.gov/nstic. Read the Commerce Department's Jan. 7 news release, "U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard A. Schmidt Announce Next Steps to Enhance Online Security, Planned National Office for Identity Trust Strategy," at www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2011/01/07/us-commerce-secretary-gary-locke-white-house-cybersecurity-coordinato. More information and materials on the strategy will become available over the coming months.

Media Contact: Ben Stein, bstein@nist.gov, 301-975-3097

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Setting Standards: We Want to Hear From You

On Jan. 4, President Obama signed the America COMPETES Act, which supports an array of strategies for maintaining America's leadership in science and technology. Among the Act's important provisions is one encouraging the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand upon its work with the private sector to develop new standards for a range of vital industries such as emergency communications and tracking, green manufacturing, high-performance green building construction, and cloud computing.

A blog post by Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Patrick Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, discusses the “unique public-private sector cooperation” through which technical standards are set in the United States. Chopra and Gallagher point to a recent call by the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Standards for public comment on the effectiveness of Federal agencies in the development and implementation of standards. How is the Federal government doing with respect to standards activities? What works well? What can be improved?

The topic will be aired in a public “Roundtable on Federal Government Engagement in Standards,” a moderated panel discussion with thought leaders from industry and academia, on Jan. 25, 2011, at the Commerce Department’s Herbert C. Hoover Building Auditorium in Washington, D.C. For more information, go to www.nist.gov/el/standards_roundtable.cfm.

Read Chopra and Gallagher’s full blog post on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Web site at www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/07/setting-standards-we-want-hear-you.

Media Contact: Ajit Jillavenkatesa, SOS_RFI@nist.gov, 301-975-8519

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Learn from the Best: 2010 Baldrige Recipients Showcased at Quest Conference

Cherry blossoms won't be the only things flowering in Washington, D.C., during the first week in April. Quality, innovation and performance excellence will be in full bloom at the 23rd annual Quest for Excellence® Conference. Registration is now open at https://secure.asq.org/conferences/quest-for-excellence/2011/registration.html for the April 4-6, 2011, event that will showcase the best practices and lessons learned of the seven 2010 Baldrige Award recipient organizations along with those from past awardees as well.

The conference will kick off with an in-depth plenary featuring the senior executives of the 2010 recipients, followed by 60 concurrent sessions from which to choose. In these sessions, current or past Baldrige Award recipients will present their proven strategies and real-world insights on:

  • improving an organization's performance results, including product outcomes, student learning results and health care outcomes;
  • enhancing leadership effectiveness;
  • building customer and employee engagement;
  • increasing organizational innovation to gain and sustain competitive advantages;
  • improving process management;
  • creating an environment that fosters social responsibility and ethical behavior; and
  • increasing organizational sustainability


Pre-conference workshops are available on April 3, 2011, for beginner and intermediate users of the Baldrige Criteria. To enhance the learning environment, attendance at the workshops is limited, so early registration is recommended.

The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:

  • MEDRAD, Warrendale, Pa. (manufacturing)
  • Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, Mo. (manufacturing)
  • Freese and Nichols Inc., Fort Worth, Texas (small business)
  • K&N Management, Austin, Texas (small business)
  • Studer Group, Gulf Breeze, Fla. (small business)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Md. (education)
  • Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Ill. (health care)


For more about the 2010 award recipients, see the Nov. 23, 2010, announcement news release "Seven U.S. Organizations Honored with the 2010 Baldrige National Quality Award" at http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/baldrige_recipients2010.cfm. For questions about the Quest for Excellence Conference, contact the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at (301) 975-2036 or baldrige@nist.gov.

Media Contact: Michael E. Newman, michael.newman@nist.gov, 301-975-3025

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NIST Physicist Joseph Stroscio Named Among 2010 AAAS Fellows

Joseph Stroscio, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Stroscio was elected as an AAAS fellow as part of the Physics Section for his “distinguished contributions to the fields of surface and condensed matter physics, particularly for the development and application of scanning tunneling microscopy.”

This year, 503 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin on Saturday, February 19, 2011, at the AAAS Fellows Forum held from 8 to 10 a.m. during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Media Contact: Mark Esser, mark.esser@nist.gov, 301-975-8735

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