Swiss Light Source - SLS
SLS is part of the Photon Science Division. The facility has world-leading instruments at its beamlines for unraveling the structure of proteins, for in-depth 3D imaging of matter, and for investigating how the electrons of atoms and molecules keep matter together and render it properties such as magnetism and electron conduction at zero resistance (‘superconductivity’).
- The beamlines for protein structure determination are intensively used by pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland and abroad. SLS is also leading in the development of pixelated X-ray detectors. The company DECTRIS has been spun off from these activities.
- In something as complex as a human being structures and processes occur on all length scales from macroscopic down to atomic dimensions. The SLS host a variety of techniques to address problems on different length scales.
- Materials with new, functional properties are the scope of intense research, since they offer fascinating insights into fundamental interactions and hold promise for advanced technologies which is highly needed. The SLS host world-leading capability in advanced materials spectroscopy ranging from photoemission spectroscopy, over spectromicroscopy to different X-ray absorption, scattering and diffraction techniques.
- A further focus is to provide advanced micro- and nanofabrication technologies to academic and industrial users, in particular in the area of polymer nanotechnology.
Current operation status
Increased benefits for industry through the use of the Swiss Light SourceThe scope for industrial research and development at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) is greater than ever before. Clients from all over the world are able to probe their systems with greater resolution and more closely matching realistic operation conditions than can be achieved at their home laboratories. For industry use, the SLS offers a variety of instruments and a team of scientists covering a wide range of expertise including macromolecular and small molecule crystallography, X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering and imaging. Proprietary access to the Swiss Light Source, SwissFEL and PSI Clean Rooms is managed through the SLS Techno Trans AG. Read more
CALIPSOplus, a European Horizon2020 funded research and innovation program, provides access support for SMEs to light sources. The access is based on a specific review system for SMEs in parallel to the established academic access route but following the same principles. The proposal confidentiality is kept during the whole process. If the proposal is accepted, the SME will have access to the requested light sources and the experiments will be financially supported through CALIPSOplus: Read more
Latest Research Highlights
3D imaging for planar samples with zooming
Researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institut have previously generated 3-D images of a commercially available computer chip. This was achieved using a high-resolution tomography method. Now they extended their imaging approach to a so-called laminography geometry to remove the requirement of preparing isolated samples, also enabling imaging at various magnification. For ptychographic X-ray laminography (PyXL) a new instrument was developed and built, and new data reconstruction algorithms were implemented to align the projections and reconstruct a 3D dataset. The new capabilities were demonstrated by imaging a 16 nm FinFET integrated circuit at 18.9 nm 3D resolution at the Swiss Light Source. The results are reported in the latest edition of the journal Nature Electronics. The imaging technique is not limited to integrated circuits, but can be used for high-resolution 3D imaging of flat extended samples. Thus the researchers start now to exploit other areas of science ranging from biology to magnetism.
Evolution of Magnetic Order from the Localized to the Itinerant Limit
Quantum materials that feature magnetic long-range order often reveal complex phase diagrams when localized electrons become mobile. In many materials magnetism is rapidly suppressed as electronic charges dissolve into the conduction band. In materials where magnetism persists, it is unclear how the magnetic properties are affected.
Operando X-ray Characterization of High Surface Area Iridium Oxides to Decouple their Activity Losses for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction
The increasingly popular power-to-gas technology for the utilization of hydrogen as a clean energy vector involves the use of electrolyzers to convert water into H2 and O2. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is the least efficient among these processes, and a catalyst is required to speed up its kinetics at the high potentials (customarily ≥ 1.4 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode) at which the reaction takes place.