Laboratory for Synchrotron Radiation and Femtochemistry
We develop and apply x-ray-based tools to solve scientific and technological questions in chemical research and related fields. Our world-leading instruments allow us to extract electronic and structural information from complex systems and to follow chemical processes from the initial electronic excitation to reaction mechanisms under operando conditions. We collaborate with Swiss and international scientists to advance academic and industrial research.
How are the first olefins formed in the early stages of the methanol-to-olefins process? Detection of two reactive ketene species solves this long-standing puzzle.
Zinc deficiency compromises the immune system and is a global public health problem. Through experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS and BESSYII, researchers gained new insights into zinc storage, with implications for understanding COVID-19 severity.
Methanol made from CO2 in the air can be transformed into carbon neutral fuels. New mechanistic understanding aids development of this sustainable alternative.
Maloja is go. First user experiments mark a double first, not only for the Maloja endstation but also for the second beamline of SwissFEL, Athos.
PSI hosted again the Hercules School in March 2022. We had the pleasure to welcome 20 international PhD students, PostDocs and scientists to demonstrate our state-of-the-art techniques and methodologies at our large scale facilities, the Swiss Light Source (SLS), the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) and our free electron laser SwissFEL.
A new simulation of the most dangerous radioactive debris from the Fukushima nuclear power plant will help with clean-up efforts.
Methane valorization is a promising technology to utilize this platform compound to produce aromatics and hydrocarbons. Researchers from PSI and ETH Zürich unveiled this reaction mechanism and observed the molecular growth from the ground up. Besides stepwise CH3 addition, novel routes involving the dimerization of resonantly stabilized propargyl (C3H3) radicals to benzene (C6H6) were identified. These mechanistic insights will aid the development of valorisation strategies.
As an international team of researchers discovered, the old Italian masters Stradivari and Guarneri relied on unexpected chemical additives in making violins.
Full-field X-ray absorption tomography reveals the chemical structure of defects in metal-organic frameworks
Cryo-full-field XANES computed tomography was used to visualize the presence and distribution of a second coordination polymer of reduced copper coordination within defect-engineered HKUST-1 MOF crystals. Observations encourage a revisitation of the structure-property relationships of defect-engineered MOFs.