Coherent X-ray Scattering Group (CXS)

The Coherent X-ray Scattering (CXS) group develops techniques in scanning- and time-resolved SAXS and high-resolution scanning X-ray microscopy at the cSAXS beamline. In collaboration with research groups, within PSI and international universities and research institutes, we apply these techniques to a wide range of problems in the fields of biology, biomedical research and materials science.

We have an open position at cSAXS for fluorescence tomography in combination with ptychographic tomography, click here for details.

Scientific Highlights 2019

6 March 2019

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Insights into a well-known disease in ageing populations: Abdominal and popliteal aneurysm

Abdominal aortic aneurysm, an enlargement of the abdominal aorta, may lead to rupture and thus acute health issues and death. Scanning X-ray imaging enabled new insights in the nano-structure of calcifications associated with abdonimal and popliteal aneurysm and allowed mapping the distribution of nano- and micro-calcifications as well as of collagen, elastin and myofilament as building blocks of connective tissue across samples from human donors.

1 February 2019

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Virtual lens improves X-ray microscopy

Media Releases Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

A method developed by PSI researchers makes X-ray images of materials even better. The researchers took a number of individual images while moving an optical lens. From these, with the help of computer algorithms, they generated one overall image.

Scientific Highlights 2018

21 November 2018

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Helping chemists to understand degradation and stabilization of catalytic nanoporous gold structures

It is difficult for X-rays to compete in spatial resolution with electrons, but they can probe relatively large bulk sample volumes at atmospheric pressure in a non-destructive manner. This makes X-ray tomography a promising tool to investigate catalytic nanoporous materials under real operating conditions. In this work researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Bremen in Germany compared X-ray ptychographic tomography, electron tomography and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy performed on a nanoporous sponge-like gold material with numerous applications, including selective oxidation and sustainable production of chemicals. As it turns out, the X-ray based method is the most suitable for in situ or sequential post-mortem analysis of volumes after thermal annealing, which researchers want to pursue in the future.

28 August 2018

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Claire Donnelly dissertation research awards

Claire Donnelly, Mesoscopic Systems (ETH Zurich - PSI), was awarded the COMSOL SPS Award in Computational Physics, the Werner Meyer-Ilse Memorial Award, the ETH Medal for an outstanding doctoral thesis, and the American Physical Society Richard L. Greene Dissertation Award. These awards recognize the exceptional quality and importance of her dissertation on “Hard X-ray Tomography of Three Dimensional Magnetic Structures”, carried out in collaboration with Sebastian Gliga, the CXS group, and the OMNY project. Experiments have been carried out at the cSAXS beamline. She will continue her research at the University of Cambridge with a Leverhulme Fellowship supported by the Newton Trust. We wish her every success! - Image courtesy of the APS.

3 April 2018

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HERCULES School Poster Prize

Klaus Wakonig was awarded the best poster prize in the 2018 rendition of the HERCULES European School in Grenoble, France. Klaus is currently a PhD student at the CXS group at PSI, developing X-ray Fourier ptychography.

Scientific Highlights 2017

17 October 2017

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Making the world go round - a look into the structure of a prominent heterogeneous catalyst

Fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, which are composite particles of hierarchical porosity, were examined using ptychographic X-ray tomography. These particles are essential to the conversion of crude oil into gasoline. Examination of catalysts at decreasing levels of catalytic conversion efficacy allowed the detection of possible deactivation causes.

28 August 2017

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Swiss Neutron Scattering Prize

Viviane Lutz-Bueno was awarded the Swiss Neutron Scattering Prize of the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society, at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Swiss and Austrian Physical Society, for her PhD thesis Effects of formulation and flow on the structure of micellar aggregates carried out at ETH Zürich. Viviane is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the CXS group at PSI, developing scanning SAXS analysis methods.

20 July 2017

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Diving into magnets

Media Releases Materials Research Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

For the first time, scientists have made visible the directions of the magnetisation inside a 3D magnetic object. The smallest details in their visualisation were ten thousand times smaller than a millimetre. Among others, the magnetic structure contained one outstanding kind of pattern: magnetic singularities called Bloch points, which up to now were only known in theory.

22 June 2017


Photonic structure of white beetle wing scales: optimized by evolution

A very thin layer on this beetle’s wings exhibits a complicated structure on the nanoscale that gives them a bright white color. X-ray nanotomography acquired at the Swiss Light Source provides a faithful image of this structure in three dimensions with which scientists can confirm its evolutionary optimization: just enough material for an efficient reflection of white light.

23 March 2017

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European NESY Winterschool Young Scientist Best Poster Prize

Klaus Wakonig was awarded the "Young Scientist Best Poster Prize" along with a cash prize at the 10th European NESY Winterschool & Symposium on Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation. Klaus is a PhD student at the coherent X-ray scattering group (CXS) in PSI. His poster, entitled "X-ray Fourier ptychography," details his latest results in the implementation of Fourier ptychography at X-ray wavelengths for nanoimaging. Image credit ©NESY/Montanuniversitaet Leoben

16 March 2017

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3-D X-ray imaging makes the finest details of a computer chip visible

Media Releases Materials Research Micro- and Nanotechnology Matter and Material Research Using Synchrotron Light

Researchers at the PSI have made detailed 3-D X-ray images of a commercially available computer chip. In their experiment, they examined a small piece that they had cut out of the chip beforehand. This sample remained undamaged throughout the measurement. It is a major challenge for manufacturers to determine if, in the end, the structure of their chips conforms to the specifications. Thus these results represent one important application of an X-ray tomography method that the PSI researchers have been developing for several years.

9 March 2017

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Interlaced zone plates push the resolution limit in x-ray microscopy

A novel type of diffractive lenses based on interlaced structures enable x-ray imaging at resolutions below 10 nm. The fabrication method and the test results of these novel x-ray lenses have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.