In-situ spectroscopy for Environmental Science
The group ‘ in-situ spectroscopy for Environmental Science’ operates the PHOENIX beamline. The inhouse research aims to in situ studies of processes relevant to environmental sciences and energy research. We have a specific interest to development instrumentation for in situ experiments in collaboration with external users. Currently our own research aims to study the first steps of crystallization processes using liquid cells and a liquid microjet technique.
Expertise and Research Interests
- Beamline development, beamline optics, X-Ray instrumentation
- Development of novel in situ experiments (liquid jet, liquid cells, cryo-experiments)
- X-Ray microscopy and micro- spectroscopy under in situ conditions
- Mass spectroscopy, Rutherford Backscattering, IR spectroscopy
- Microphysics and phase transitions in environmental and atmospheric science
- Trace-gas-ice interaction
To date the electrochemical activity of battery materials was always relying in the oxidation/reduction of cationic redox (change of oxidation state of transition metals generally). However, recently, it was established in new cathode materials (so call Li-rich cathode) that the oxygen from the crystal lattice might also play the role of anionic redox center leading to enhance then the specific charge of battery materials.
A new compact von Hamos spectrometer for tender x-rays (current energy range 2.25-4.5 keV), is now available for emission spectroscopy. This spectrometer allows analyzing the energetic composition of fluorescent light from the sample. It provides research opportunities for emission spectroscopy, and RIXS on the K (P-Sc), L (Zr-Cs) and M (Ir-Fr) absorption edges.
Carbonate minerals serve as reservoir for CO2 in the global CO2 cycle, as biomineral in animal skeletons and shells of marine animals, and are used in carbon capturing techniques. Moreover, they serve as an important model system in crystallization studies, and have important commercial applications, for example as fillers. Researchers from EPFL and PSI developed a new methodology to study the crystallization of CaCO3 that offers both high temporal and spatial resolution, which is the key challenge in elucidating early stages of crystallization. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and other techniques it could be demonstrated that the degree of hydration of amorphous CaCO3 increases during its growth. As a result of the increasing degree of hydration, the stability of the resulting amorphous particles against solid-state crystallization decreases.