Scientific Highlights

15 December 2020
Dario Ferreira Sanchez

Look Inside a Chemical Reactor

Research Using Synchrotron Light Materials Research Matter and Material

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.

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11 May 2020
Cover Materials Today

Operando X-ray diffraction during laser 3D printing

Ultra-fast operando X-ray diffraction experiments reveal the temporal evolution of low and high temperature phases and the formation of residual stresses during laser 3D printing of a Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The profound influence of the length of the laser-scanning vector  on the evolving microstructure is revealed and elucidated.  

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27 March 2019
inside batteries

Inside Batteries

Lithium ion batteries (LIB) are essential in modern everyday life, with increasing interest in enhancing their performance and lifetime. Secondary particles of Li-rich cathode material were examined with correlated ptychographic X-ray tomography and diffraction microscopy at different stages of cycling to probe the aging mechanism.

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5 September 2018
Figure 1 (a) Transient relative x-ray intensity of the (1.5 0.5 0.5) superlattice reflection of Sr0.97Ca0.03TiO3 upon above bandgap excitation with 40 fs pulses Inset: STO crystal structure as seen along the c-axis. phi measures the antiferrodistortive rotation of the oxygen octahedra (exaggerated) and represents the order parameter. (b) Calculated energy change per STO cubic unit cell as a function of oxygen displacement u/u0 along the in-plane cubic crystal axes resulting from the octahedral rotation at …

Moving Atoms by Photodoping

Understanding how and how fast we can drive atoms to create a structural phase transition is of fundamental interest as it directly relates to many processes in nature. Here we show that a photoexcitation can drive a purely structural phase transition before the energy is relaxed in the material that corresponds to a “warmer” equilibrated state.

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19 March 2018
Hercules PSI2.jpg

HERCULES at the Swiss Light Source

In the week of March 18-23 PSI welcomes 20 PhD students and postdocs taking part in the HERCULES 2018 school on Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation. They will attend lectures and perform two days of practical courses at several beam lines of the Swiss Light Source.

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17 October 2017

Making the world go round - a look into the structure of a prominent heterogeneous catalyst

Fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, which are composite particles of hierarchical porosity, were examined using ptychographic X-ray tomography. These particles are essential to the conversion of crude oil into gasoline. Examination of catalysts at decreasing levels of catalytic conversion efficacy allowed the detection of possible deactivation causes.

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8 August 2017

Chemical Imaging to Spy on Malaria Parasites

Unique insights into the adolescence and metabolism of a Malaria parasite in a human red blood cell are obtained by a new chemical imaging methodology – in situ correlative X-ray fluorescence microscopy and soft X-ray tomography.

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30 May 2017

Fate of Plutonium through a Geological Reactive Barrier

Natural geological and engineered barriers play a key role in protecting the environment and the anthroposphere from the hazardous impact of deposited waste or spreading contaminants. Such natural geological and engineered barrier materials are commonly complex and heterogeneous. In-situ multimodal microscopic studies under conditions relevant to deep geological formations are crucial to identify the reactive components and reaction pathways or to validate proposed immobilization mechanisms. The present study demonstrated that a simplistic description by a sole reactive component is not an adequate representation of the geochemical reactivity responsible for the immobilization of plutonium within a natural Clay Rock barrier. Multimodal chemical imaging studies on intact, undisturbed systems are absolutely essential to ascertain the geochemical reactivity for relevant geochemical conditions and settings.

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