Invention

Physicist honored for invention of microscope and impact on society – WSU Insider

A recognized expert in compound semiconductors and holder of two US patents, Professor Matthew McCluskey has been named a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.

NAI Senior Fellows are active faculty, scientists, and administrators at NAI member institutions who have created innovative technologies that have had, or aspire to have, a real impact on the well-being of society. They also have growing success in patenting, licensing, and commercialization, while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors.

Better, faster, cheaper

Researchers at universities and labs from companies like Samsung and General Electric use high-end confocal microscopes to ensure that there are no material inconsistencies or defects in electronic, optoelectronic and structural devices, as well as specialty coatings, tubes, devices, discs and mirrors.

McCluskey, an experimental physicist, has developed an improved method of inspecting surfaces for minute defects. Called confocal optical profile (COP) microscopy, its innovative approach uses a CCD array rather than the pinhole and single-element detector of standard confocal microscopes. COP captures the entire beam profile of emitted light, providing more accurate and comprehensive data at a fraction of the cost.

Emeritus Professor of Westinghouse Matthew McCluskey

The refinement of the COP technique led to two patents, with McCluskey being the sole inventor of both, and the creation of Klar Scientific, a WSU spin-off company co-founded by McCluskey that holds an exclusive license to the intellectual property.

“Professor McCluskey excels at research and mentorship that have real and lasting impact both inside and outside the lab,” said Todd Butler, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He has become a valuable leader and partner for industrial scientists engaged in the multi-billion dollar industry of compound semiconductor materials and device products, and many of his students find employment not only in the academia, but also in industry and national laboratories”.

Over the past 10 years, McCluskey has received over $3 million in extramural funding and was co-PI on a $1.5 million grant from the WM Keck Foundation to study optical imaging of l brain activity. His current research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy.

McCluskey, a Westinghouse professor emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Materials Science and Engineering Program, is the second WSU researcher to be named an NAI Senior Fellow since the start of the program in 2018. Jacob Leachman at the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering was honored in 2021.

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, as well as government and nonprofit research institutes, with more than 4,000 individual members and fellows at more than 250 institutions worldwide.

NAI 2022 senior members come from 41 research universities and are named inventors on more than 1,000 issued U.S. patents. Following their nomination, individuals undergo a rigorous selection process by the NAI Senior Member Advisory Committee, which is comprised of elected NAI members who are considered pioneers in their respective fields.

“With the NAI Senior Member Award, we recognize and honor these innovators who are rising stars in their fields,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of NAI.

New members will be inducted at the Senior Member Ceremony at the NAI Annual Meeting in June 2022.