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Physics Professor Receives Competitive NSF CAREER Award

Nathan Lindquist, assistant professor of physics, received a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for nanotechnology research.

Assistant Professor of Physics Nathan Lindquist ’02 was selected to receive a 2016 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Providing $500,000 in funding to researchers who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars, the CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award for junior faculty.

Lindquist’s project is titled, “Digital plasmonics-based nano-tweezing and nano-imaging for nano-particles.” The project has two parallel activities. First, computer-controlled laser light will be used with extremely high resolution digital imaging techniques to capture detailed images of nano-sized objects. Second, similar computer-controlled techniques will be used to manipulate these nano-sized objects in order to study their behavior and gain understanding about their makeup. Some of the nano-objects are to include quantum dots, single molecules, and viruses.

The grant begins at the beginning of February with the assistance of Bethel undergraduate students in the physics department’s NanoLab, which Lindquist oversees.

“Nathan’s NSF Career award recognizes his extraordinary research and dedication to students,” says Acting Dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences and University Professor of Physics Emeritus Richard Peterson. “His interdisciplinary work with students developing nano-scale manipulation and imaging tools builds on the full breadth of STEM excellence at Bethel.”

Lindquist received his B.S. from Bethel in 2002, and went on to the University of Minnesota to earn his M.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He has been teaching at Bethel since 2011. Last fall, Lindquist was recognized by his faculty peers, receiving the Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship. In 2013, he was awarded a $252,393 grant from the NSF to research, “Super-resolution plasmon-enhanced imaging and spectroscopy with patterned metallic surfaces and dynamic illumination,” which is still in process.  


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