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NIST Presents Slichter Award to Bur, Migler and Wang For Developing Novel Probes to Control Polymer Processing

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has presented the William P. Slichter Award to Anthony Bur, Kalman Migler and Francis Wang of the agency’s Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. The Slichter Award, established in 1992, recognizes outstanding achievements by NIST staff in building or strengthening ties between NIST and industry.

The ability to measure the properties of polymers during their processing is critical to a quality product. To do this, Bur, Migler and Wang first determined that the fluorescence of certain organic molecules is sensitive to the state of the material in which they are dissolved. Then, this characteristic was combined with optical systems that could detect signals from remote locations to create "fluorescent probes." These probes became the basis for the sensors used today to measure polymer properties in the processing environment.

In addition to their laboratory accomplishments, the three researchers helped form and are currently active in an industry/government consortium on measurements for polymer processing that helped transfer their fluorescent probe monitoring method to the private sector. The technology transfer also was facilitated by workshops, interlaboratory projects, semiannual meetings and visits to members’ laboratories and manufacturing plants.

Bur, a physicist, is a resident of ROCKVILLE, Md.; Migler, also a physicist, lives in GAITHERSBURG, Md.; and Wang, leader, Dental and Medical Materials Group, makes his home in GAITHERSBURG, Md.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

Released December 10, 1997, Updated January 8, 2018