Scientific Highlights

20 May 2020
Petr Skopintsev (links), Jörg Standfuss (Mitte) und Christopher Milne (rechts) an der Experimentierstation Alvra am Freie-Elektronen-Röntgenlaser SwissFEL

Elucidating the mechanism of a light-driven sodium pump

Media Releases Biology SwissFEL

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in recording a light-driven sodium pump from bacterial cells in action. The findings promise progress in developing new methods in neurobiology. The researchers used the new X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL for their investigations.

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1 May 2020
CuPCP gives off an intense green glow not only when current is applied, but also under UV light.

In search of the lighting material of the future

Media Releases SwissFEL Matter and Material Large Research Facilities Research Using Synchrotron Light

At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, researchers have gained insights into a promising material for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This new understanding at the atomic level will help to develop new lighting materials that have higher light output and also are cost-efficient to manufacture.

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19 March 2020
So zeigte sich «Athos» am 17. Dezember 2019 auf dem Bildschirm im Kontrollraum: als kompakter Röntgenlaserstrahl.

Athos is making great strides

SwissFEL Matter and Material Large Research Facilities

The new beamline at PSI's X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL will soon be ready for action. In December, Athos delivered laser light for the first time − even sooner than expected, to the delight of the researchers responsible for its construction.

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4 March 2020
COVID call

Priority access call for work on combating COVID-19

On January 30th, 2020, the WHO declared the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a public health emergency of international concern. It declared that there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the newly identified virus and its possible future evolution as well as to contain the spread; to develop precise diagnostics and treatment, and to improve the public health response and patient care.

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29 August 2019
Teaserbild Lemke Interview

Research and tinkering – SwissFEL in 2019

SwissFEL Matter and Material Materials Research Research Using Synchrotron Light

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.

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4 July 2019
Teaser Molekulare Energiemaschine als Filmstar

Molecular energy machine as a movie star

Media Releases Biology SwissFEL Large Research Facilities Research Using Synchrotron Light

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.

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25 June 2019
PSI School for Masterstudents 2019

PSI School for Master Degree Students - Introducing Photons, Neutrons and Muons for Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science

From 17 – 21 June 2019 the Neutron and Muon Division (NUM) and the Photon Science Division (PSD) of PSI hosted 18 Master Degree students of physics, chemistry, materials and interdisciplinary science, as well as nuclear engineering to provide an introduction to the characterization of materials with large scale facilities like SINQ, SμS, SLS and SwissFEL. The course taught a basic understanding of how photons, neutrons and muons interact with matter, and how this knowledge can be used to solve specific problems in materials research.

Details of the program can be found at

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1 March 2019
Figure 1. Layout depicting the experimental conditions at the Alvra experimental station. (b) Fresnel simulation of the Talbot carpet: intensity distribution of the experimental conditions for a 1D diamond phase grating with a 200 nm pitch and 2.985 keV photon energy. The inset (c) shows the detailed structure of the interference pattern in the vicinity of the sample where the pitch is 190 nm

Towards X-ray Transient Grating Spectroscopy at SwissFEL

The high brilliance of new X-ray sources such as X-ray Free Electron Laser opens the way to non-linear spectroscopies. These techniques can probe ultrafast matter dynamics that would otherwise be inaccessible. One of these techniques, Transient Grating, involves the creation of a transient excitation grating by crossing X-ray beams on the sample. Scientists at PSI have realized a demonstration of such crossing by using an innovative approach well suited for the hard X-ray regime.

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