Proteins hover in front of the X-ray beam at a Swiss Light Source beamline. Now, spinning thin films bring on board these trickiest of proteins.
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.
Thin-Film Oxynitride Photocatalysts for Solar Hydrogen Generation: Separating Surface and Bulk Effects Using Synchrotron X-Ray and Neutron-Based Techniques
The conversion of solar light into hydrogen by photoelectrochemical water splitting is one of the potential strategies that can allow the development of a carbon-neutral energy cycle. Oxynitride semiconductors are promising materials for this application, although important limitations must still to be addressed. One of the most important issues is physicochemical degradation of the semiconductor, at the interface with water, where the electrochemical reactions occur. In this regard, thin films, with well-defined and atomically flat surfaces, are invaluable tools for characterizing material properties and degradation mechanisms, while identifying strategies to mitigate detrimental effects. Thin oxynitride films may allow the use of complementary characterizations, not applicable to conventional powder samples. In particular, the study of the solid–liquid interface can benefit enormously from the use of thin films for synchrotron-based surface-sensitive X-Ray scattering methods and neutron reflectometry. These investigation approaches promise to speed up the design and discovery of new materials for the production of solar fuels, while paving the way for similar applications in other research fields. This work aims at reviewing the literature contributions on oxynitride thin films for solar water splitting summarizing what is learnt so far and suggesting experimental strategies to unveil what is still not clear.
Waves of magnetic excitation sweep through this new material whether in superconducting mode or not – another clue to the mystery of loss-less electric currents.
Hydrogen will play an important role in a future energy system based on renewable sources, providing energy storage, being a base material for industry and an energy carrier in transport applications. For the efficient electrification of hydrogen, polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology is developed and applied today in trucks, passenger cars and stationary applications. It is envisaged that even more demanding applications such as airplanes may follow. For road transport applications an increase in power density is required to further reduce cost and future applications may need these advances to be technically competitive. In this work we describe a novel concept for gas diffusion layers, highly important for achieving high fuel cell power densities.
We present a novel monitoring strategy for 3D print processes that consists of developing and training a hybrid machine learning model that can classify regimes across different time scales based on heterogeneous sensing data.
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.
Topological magnon insulators constitute a growing field of research for their potential use as information carriers without heat dissipation. We report an experimental and theoretical study of the magnetic ground-state and excitations in the van der Waals two-dimensional honeycomb magnet ErBr3. We show that the magnetic properties of this compound are entirely governed by the dipolar interactions which generate a continuously degenerate non-collinear ground-state on the honeycomb lattice with spins confined in the plane.
An ambitious upgrade at the soft X-ray beamline of the free electron laser SwissFEL opens up new experimental capabilities.
Orthoferrites are a class of magnetic materials with a magnetic ordering temperature above 600 K, predominant G-type antiferromagnetic ordering of the Fe-spin system and, depending on the rare-earth ion, a spin reorientation of the Fe spin taking place at lower temperatures. DyFeO3 is of particular interest since the spin reorientation is classified as a Morin transition with the transition temperature depending strongly on the Dy-Fe interaction. Here, we report a detailed study of the magnetic and structural properties of microcrystalline DyFeO3 powder and bulk single crystal using neutron diffraction and magnetometry between 1.5 and 450 K. We find that, while the magnetic properties of the single crystal are largely as expected, the powder shows strongly modified magnetic properties, including a modified spin reorientation and a smaller Dy-Fe interaction energy of the order of 10 μeV. Subtle structural differences between powder and single crystal show that they belong to distinct magnetic space groups. In addition, the Dy ordering at 2 K in the powder is incommensurate, with a modulation vector of 0.0173(5) c∗, corresponding to a periodicity of ∼58 unit cells.