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.
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.
Catalysts used in industry change their material structure over the years. Using a new method, PSI researchers have now studied this on the nanoscale.
To develop sustainable lignin valorization strategies, a solid understanding of the underlying reaction mechanism is critical. By detection of highly reactive and elusive intermediates, new light could be shed on one of the most basic elementary reactions in lignin catalytic fast pyrolysis.
During the week of March 15 – 19, we had the pleasure to welcome 20 international PhD students, PostDocs and assistant professors at PSI, taking part in the first virtual HERCULES SCHOOL on Neutrons & Synchrotron Radiation.
High-resolution XRF imaging of the specific metal distribution within wool fibers at the PHOENIX beamline gives insights into traditional oriental dyeing procedures.
Scientists pioneer an approach called self-referenced streaking, clocking Auger electrons with sub-femtosecond resolution. The breakthrough will unlock the broader potential for attosecond time resolution at X-ray free-electron lasers.
Operando X-ray spectrotomography allows scientists to look inside of functioning chemical reactors. A research team at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), at Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France have employed this method successfully.