Chestnut Hill, Mass. (2/3/2011) -- Boston College has been awarded a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support a team of university researchers developing a new microscope that uses a light-guiding "metamedium" to create images that reveal micro- and macroscopic matter with significantly improved clarity.
The nanoscale coaxial optical microscope, or NCOM, would join a new class of microscopes known as "superlenses," which function far differently than traditional optical microscopes. These new devices use novel technologies to manipulate light, reconstruct it on computers or assemble bits of images to create one in its entirety.
The NCOM, under development in a $1.8 million project, relies on a bundle of hundreds of nanoscale tubes similar in design to the coaxial cable that supplies TV, Internet and phone signals. The nanocoax design will allow the microscope to focus beams of light on sub-wavelength-sized matter, such as cells or proteins, and then return that light to a camera that presents the image.
"We're excited by the opportunities this grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation provides and grateful for their support," said principal investigator Michael J. Naughton, Ferris Professor of Physics at BC. "We believe our novel concepts and ideas on microscopy can lead to the development of the nanoscale coaxial optical microscope, which will have a far-reaching impact on scientific investigation."
Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation's grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering and undergraduate education. The Foundation also maintains a Southern California Grant Program that that provides support for the Los Angeles community, with a special emphasis on children and youth. For more information, please visit the foundation web
|Contact: Ed Hayward|