University of Saskatchewan

October 01, 2014   

Two U of S Synchrotron-Based Research Projects Awarded Federal NSERC Funding

April 12, 2010

Under a federal program that fosters partnerships among industry, academia, and government, two University of Saskatchewan-led research projects have been awarded a total of $958,350 to research new energy-efficient lighting device technology and innovative cancer therapy using the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron.

Under the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) strategic project grants program, recipients work with private or not-for-profit sector partners to address real-world challenges.

U of S associate professor of chemistry Stephen Urquhart, along with Adam Hitchcock and Peter Mascher of McMaster University and Federico Rosei of L'Institut national de la recherche scientifique, have been awarded $608,100 over three years to use the CLS to study solid-state lighting (SSL) devices. These devices are expected to replace existing types of light bulbs, such as compact fluorescents that contain toxic metals, high-cost LEDS, and low-efficiency incandescent bulbs.

Because illumination accounts for about 20 per cent of electricity use, improving light sources is an essential step towards addressing energy challenges. The Urquhart team will collaborate with Group IV Semiconductor Inc., a Canadian high-tech company.

Also conducting leading-edge research with the synchrotron-generated X-rays at the CLS are U of S professors and Canada Research Chairs Safa Kasap and Dean Chapman. Their international team will work with the Dalsa Corporation to develop new materials and technology for monitoring and measuring X-ray beams used in microbeam radiation therapy.

The therapy targets tumours while sparing normal tissue, and has been shown to be of great benefit in cancer therapy. The project has been awarded $350,250 over three years.

Kasap has also recently been honoured as an elected Fellow of the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers, an international society for advancing light-based research, for his significant achievements in X-ray photoconductors, detectors, and optoelectronic glasses.

Across the country, the NSERC will invest $53.5 million over three years to support 122 research projects at universities.

For more about NSERC Strategic Project Grants, visit

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For more information, contact:

Lisa Johnson
Graduate Intern, U of S Research Communications
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-2506

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