Research Using Synchrotron Light
Tomographic images from the interior of fossils, brain cells, or computer chips are yielding new insights into the finest of structures. These 3-D images are made possible by the X-ray beams of the Swiss Light Source SLS, together with detectors and sophisticated computer algorithms developed at PSI.
Using a newly developed imaging method, researchers were able to visualise the magnetic structure inside a material with nanoscale resolution. They succeeded in creating a short "film" consisting of seven movie frames that shows, for the first time in 3D, how tiny vortices of the magnetisation deep within a material change over time.
The Swiss Light Source SLS is set to undergo an upgrade in the coming years: SLS 2.0. The renovation is made possible by the latest technologies and will create a large-scale research facility that will meet the needs of researchers for decades to come.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new process with which fibre-reinforced composite materials can be precisely X-rayed. This could help to develop better materials with novel properties.
The newest large research facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute, SwissFEL, has been completed. In January 2019 it began regular operation. Henrik Lemke, head of the SwissFEL Bernina research group, gives an interim report.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, together with colleagues from the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, have taken an important step towards the development of an active substance against the metastasis of certain cancers. Using the Swiss Light Source SLS, they deciphered the structure of a receptor that plays a crucial role in the migration of cancer cells.
PSI researchers have observed mechanical processes in solid-state batteries with unprecedented precision. Using X-ray tomography at the Swiss Light Source SLS, they discovered how fissures inside the batteries propagate. These insights can help to make batteries for electric cars or smartphones safer and more efficient.
A particular variety of particles, the so-called Weyl fermions, had previously only been detected in certain non-magnetic materials. But now researchers at PSI have experimentally proved their existence for the first time in a specific paramagnetic material.
Using the Swiss Light Source SLS, PSI researchers have recorded a molecular energy machine in action and thus revealed how energy production at cell membranes works. For this purpose, they developed a new investigative method that could make the analysis of cellular processes significantly more effective than before.
PSI researchers have developed a material whose shape memory is activated through magnetism. Application areas for this new kind of composite material include, for example, medicine, space flight, electronics, and robotics.
Researchers at PSI have investigated a novel crystalline material at the Swiss Light Source SLS that exhibits electronic properties never seen before. Among other things, they were able to detect a new type of quasiparticle: so-called Rarita-Schwinger fermions.
Researchers at PSI have discovered a new phenomenon of magnetism with the help of the Swiss Light Source SLS. Certain groups of atoms behave like a compass pointing West. This could make computers much more powerful.
Electronics should get smaller, faster, and above all more energy-efficient. These themes are also present in several research groups at PSI. From incremental improvements to complete rethinking – who is currently working on what?
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.
If you make electronic components smaller, they unfortunately get hotter. Also, we will soon reach the limit of technically feasible miniaturisation. At PSI, Gabriel Aeppli and Christian Rüegg are working on fundamentally new, physical solutions for better computers and data storage devices.
Fabia Gozzo is no woman for the comfort zone. First she made a beamline at the Swiss Light Source SLS of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI into one of the world's leading facilities. Today she is making her knowledge available to industry with her spin-off.
The electronics industry expects a novel high-performance transistor made of gallium nitride to offer considerable advantages over present-day high-frequency transistors. Yet many fundamental properties of the material remain unknown. Now, for the first time, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have observed electrons while they were flowing in this promising transistor. For that they used one of the world's best sources of soft X-rays at PSI's Swiss Light Source SLS.
The 16th of May is the International Day of Light. The research carried out with light at PSI enables advances in biology and pharmacology and also promotes the development of new materials for data storage and new technologies for personalised medicine.
PSI researchers have found out why it is harder to control the noxious nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust at low temperatures – and how, in the future, emissions can be cleaned more efficiently depending on the temperature.
A spin-off from PSI has received this year's Swiss Technology Award: The young company GratXray is developing a new method for early diagnosis of breast cancer.