Dr. Daniel Grolimund

Group Leader
microXAS Beamline Project
Swiss Light Source
Paul Scherrer Institute
WLGA 221
5232 Villigen – PSI

Telephone: +41 56 310 4782
E-mail: daniel.grolimund@psi.ch

Research interests

  • Chemical Reactivity Enlightened by Advanced Synchrotron-based (micro-)Spectroscopic Techniques. Application of synchrotron radiation to investigate the reactivity of chemical systems. Special emphasis on micro-beam and nano-beam techniques. Conceptualize and formulate chemical and physical principles and mechanisms based on molecular-scale structural and chemical information ('speciation') obtained by advanced, synchrotron-based (micro-)analytical techniques.
  • Imaging Chemistry (and Physics) in Space and Time. Applying advanced synchrotron beam and neutron beam based microscopic techniques to analyse the structure and chemical reactivity of heterogeneous system in three dimensions – in-situ, undisturbed, and time resolved. Special emphasis on relating chemical micro-heterogeneities to reactive transport phenomena (e.g. geochemistry, catalysis).
  • Time-resolved ultrafast X-ray Techniques. Collaboration with FEMTO Project at the Swiss Light Source for the production of femto-second x-ray pulses by means of the electron-beam slicing method. Exploiting the potential of ultra-fast time-resolved XAFS and XRD to study the dynamics and pathways of chemical
  • Mineral and Interfacial Chemistry. Investigation of structures, mechanisms and processes at the liquid-solid interface at both the macroscopic and molecular level using state of-the-art spectroscopic and microscopic techniques (e.g. sychrotron-based x-ray absorption spectroscopy); effect of physical and chemical heterogeneities and nonidealities.
  • Chemistry, Physics, and Modeling of Reactive Transport.
  • Applied Colloid and Surface Science.
  • Environmental Chemistry of Subsurface Systems

short CV

  • Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, Soil Chemistry, Fall 1997, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, Dissertation: Mobile Colloidal Particles in Subsurface Systems: Release, Transport and Their Role in Contaminant Transport. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. H. Sticher, and Prof. Dr. M. Borkovec
  • M.S. in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Chemistry, Fall 1993, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

Current Position
2006-present Group Leader "microXAS Beamline Project", the Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen PSI, Switzerland
2012-2015 deputy laboratory head Laboratory for Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry, PSI-SYN
2001-present Beamline Scientist "microXAS Beamline Project", the Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Research Positions
2001-2003 Honorary Lecturer, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK
2000 Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Environmental Sciences and Environmental Chemistry, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK
1998-2000 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences,* Stanford University*, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
1993-1997 Graduate Research Associate, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Soil Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
1991-1992 Research Associate, Department of Fertilizers and Fertilization, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agricultural Chemistry and Environmental Hygiene, Bern-Liebefeld, Switzerland


Selected publications. See more publication in the full publication list
  • S. Kapishnikov, D. Grolimund, G. Schneider, E. Pereiro, J. McNally, J. Als-Nielsen, L. Leiserowitz, Unraveling heme detoxification and crystallization in the malaria parasite by correlative X-ray microscopy, Nature Sci. Rep., in press, (2017).
  • U. Kaplan, S. Amayri, D.R. Fröhlich, J. Drebert, D. Grolimund, C. Borca, T. Reich, Geochemical Interactions of Plutonium(VI) with Opalinus Clay Studied by Spatially Resolved Synchrotron Radiation Techniques, Env. Sci. Tech., in press, (2017).
  • R. Middendorp, M. Dürr, A. Knott, F. Pointurier, D. Ferreira Sanchez, V. Samson, D. Grolimund, Characterization of the Aerosol-based Synthesis of Uranium Particles as a Potential Reference Material for Micro Analytical Methods, Anal. Chem., 89, 4721-4728, (2017).
  • D. Ferreira Sanchez, D. Grolimund, M. Hubert, P. Bleuet, J. Laurencin, A 2D and 3D X-ray μ-diffraction and μ-fluorescence study of a Mixed Ionic Electronic Conductor, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 42, 1203-1211, (2017).
  • M. Chollet, S. Valance, J. Bertsch, S. Abolhassani, G. Stein, D. Grolimund, M. Martin, G. Kuri, Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction Investigations on Strains in the oxide layer of an Irradiated Zircaloy Fuel Cladding, JNM, 488, 181–190, (2017).
  • D. Bocharov, M. Chollet, M. Krack, J. Bertsch, D. Grolimund, M. Martin, A. Kuzmin, J. Purans, E. Kotomin, Analysis of the U L3-edge X-ray absorption spectra in UO2 using molecular dynamics simulations, Progress in Nuclear Energy, 94, 187-193, (2017).
  • F.G. Santomauro, J. Grilj, L. Mewes, G. Nedelcu, S. Yakunin, T. Rossi, G. Capano, A. Al Haddad, J. Budarz, D. Kinschel, D.S. Ferreira, G. Rossi, M. Gutierrez Tovar, D. Grolimund, V. Samson, M. Nachtegaal, G. Smolentsev, M.V. Kovalenko, M. Chergui, Localized holes and delocalized electrons in photoexcited inorganic perovskites: a picosecond X-ray absorption study, Structural Dynamics, 4, 44002, (2017).
  • U. Hartfelder, J. Singh, J. Haase, M. Nachtegaal, D. Grolimund, J.A. van Bokhoven, Detecting and utilizing minority phases in heterogeneous catalysis, NATURE Sci. Rep., 6, 37597, (2016).
  • D. Grolimund, P. Wersin, J. Brendlé, J. Huve, L. Kiviranta, M. Snellman, Interaction of Titanium with Smectite within the Scope of a Spent Fuel Repository: A Spectroscopic Approach, Clay Minerals, 51/2, 249-266, (2016).
  • D. Grolimund, H.A.O Wang, L.R. Van Loon, F. Marone, N. Diaz, A. Kaestner, A. Jakob, Microscopic Chemical Imaging: A Key to Understand Ion Mobility in Tight Formations, CMS Workshop Lecture Series, Chapter 9, 105-128, in: Filling the Gaps – from Microscopic Pore Structures to Transport Properties in Shales (T. Schäfer, R. Dohrmann, and H.C. Greenwell, editors). CMS Workshop Lectures, 21. The Clay Minerals Society, Chantilly, Virginia, USA. ISBN - 978-1-881208-46-4, (2016).
  • A. Irastorza-Landa; H. Van Swygenhoven, S. Van Petegem, A. Bollhalder, S. Brandstetter, D. Grolimund, Following dislocation patterning during fatigue, Acta Materialia Acta Materialia, 112, 184-193, (2016).
  • L.I. Olsen, T.H. Hansen, C. Larue, J.T. Østerberg, R.D. Hoffmann, J. Liesche, U. Krämer, S. Surble, S. Cadarsi, V.A. Samson, D. Grolimund, S. Husted, M. Palmgren, Mother plant-mediated pumping of zinc into the developing seed, NATURE Plants, 16036, (2016).
  • J. Poonoosamy, E. Curti, G. Kosakowski, L. R. Van Loon, D. Grolimund & U. Mäder, Barite precipitation following celestite dissolution in reactive transport experiments: a SEM/BSE and µ-XRD/XRF study, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 182, 131-144, (2016).
  • F. Lin, V.A. Samson, A. Wismer, D. Grolimund, A. Wokaunc, I. Alxneita, Zn-modified ceria as redox material for thermochemical H2O and CO2 splitting cycles ― Effect of a secodary ZnO phase on its thermochemical activity, Cryst. Eng. Comm., 18, 2559-2569, (2016).
  • L. Nowack, D. Grolimund, V. Samson, F. Marone, V. Wood, Rapid Mapping of Lithiation Dynamics in Transition Metal Oxides using Operando X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy, NATURE Sci. Rep., 6, 21479, (2016).
  • C. Kenel, S. Van Petegem, P. Schloth, J.L. Fife, D. Grolimund, A. Menzel, H. Van Swygenhoven, C. Leinenbach, In situ synchrotron microXRD and SAXS studies on rapidly heated and cooled Ti-Al and Al-Cu-Mg alloys using high power laser radiation, J. Min. Met. Mat., 114, 117-120, (2016).
  • T. Lombardo, D. Grolimund, A. Kienholz, V. Hubert, M. Wörle, The use of flint-stone fragments as “fire-strikers” during the Neolithic period: Complementary micro-analytical evidences, Microchemical Journal, 125, 254-259, (2016).
  • R. Dähn, A. Arakcheeva, Ph. Schaub, P. Pattison, G. Chapuis, D. Grolimund, E. Wieland, A. Leemann, Application of micro X-ray diffraction to investigate the reaction products formed by the alkali-silica reaction in concrete structures, Cement and Concrete Research, 79, 49-56, (2016).
  • C. Kenel, P. Schloth, S. Van Petegem, J.F. Fife, D. Grolimund, A. Menzel, H. Van Swygenhoven, C. Leinenbach, In Situ Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction and Small Angle X-Ray Scattering Studies on Rapidly Heated and Cooled Ti-Al and Al-Cu-Mg Alloys Using Laser-Based, JOM, 68, 978-984, (2016).
  • F.G. Santomauro, A. Lübcke, J. Rittmann, E. Baldini, A. Ferrer, M. Silatani, P. Zimmermann, S. Grübel, J. Johnson, P. Beaud, D. Grolimund, C. Borca, G. Ingold, S. Johnson, M. Chergui, Femtosecond X-ray absorption study of electron localization in anatase TiO2, NATURE Sci. Rep., 5, 14834, (2015).
  • E. Curti, A. Puranen, D. Grolimund, D. Jädernas, D. Cheptiakov, A. Mesbah, J.A. Ibers, Characterization of 79Se in UO2 spent nuclear fuel by micro X-ray absorption spectroscopy and its thermodynamic stability, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 17 (10), 1760-1768, (2015).
  • M. Burger, A. Gundlach-Graham, S. Allner, G. Schwarz, H.A.O. Wang, L. Gyr, S. Burgener, B. Hattendorf, D. Grolimund, D. Günther, High-speed, high-resolution, multi-elemental LA-ICP-TOFMS imaging: Part II. Quantitative three-dimensional imaging of major, minor and trace elements in geological samples, Analytical Chemistry, 87 (16), 8259-8267, (2015)
  • P. Karvinen, D. Grolimund, M. Willimann, B. Meyer, M. Birri, C. Borca, J. Patommel, G. Wellenreuther, G. Falkenberg, M. Guizar-Sicairos, A. Menzel, C. David, Kinoform diffractive lenses for efficient nano-focusing of hard X-rays, Optics Express, 22/14, 16676-16685, (2014).
  • C. Giesen, H.A.O Wang, P. Schüffler, B. Hattendorf, D. Grolimund, A. Jacobs, N. Zivanovic, J.M. Buhmann, S. Brandt, Z. Varga, P.J. Wild, D. Günther, B. Bodenmiller, Simultaneous visualization of 32 proteins and protein modifications in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues with subcellular resolution by imaging mass cytometry, Nature Methods, 11/4, 417-423, (2014).
  • C. Marichal, K. Srivastava, D. Weygand, S. Van Petegem, D. Grolimund, P. Gumbsch, H. Van Swygenhoven, Origin of Anomalous Slip in Tungsten, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 025501, (2014).
  • D.E. Crean, F.R. Livens, M.C. Stennett, D. Grolimund, C.N. Borca, N.C. Hyatt, Microanalytical x-ray imaging of depleted uranium speciation in environmentally aged munitions residues, Env. Sci. Technol., 48/3, 1467-1474, (2014).
  • D.R. Fröhlich, S. Amayri1, J. Drebert, D. Grolimund, J. Huth, U. Kaplan, J. Krause, T. Reich, Speciation of Np(V) uptake by Opalinus Clay using synchrotron microbeam techniques, Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 404(8), 2151–2162, (2012).
  • M. Ranocchiari, Ch. Lothschütz, D. Grolimund, J.A. van Bokhoven, Single-Atom Active Sites on Metal-Organic Frameworks, Proc. R. Soc. A, 468 (2143), 1985-1999, (2012).
  • H.A.O. Wang, D. Grolimund, D. Guenther, L. von Loon, K. Barmettler, C.N. Borca, B. Aeschlimann, Quantitative Chemical Imaging of Element Diffusion into Heterogeneous Media Using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Synchrotron Micro-X-ray Fluorescence, and Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy, Analytical Chemistry, 16, 6259–6266, (2011).
  • D. Grolimund, D. Berger, S. Bolliger-Schreyer, C.N. Borca, F. Müller, J. Hovind, K. Hunger, E.H. Lehmann, P. Vontobel, H.A.O. Wang, Combined neutron and synchrotron X-Ray microscope analysis: attempt to disclose 3600 years-old secrets of a unique bronze age metal artifact, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 26 (5), 1012 – 1023, (2011).
  • G. Vanko, P. Glatzel, V-T. Pham, R. Abela, D. Grolimund, C.N. Borca, S.L. Johnson, C.J. Milne, Ch. Bressler, Picosecond Time-Resolved X-Ray Emission Spectroscopy: Ultrafast Spin-State Determination in an Iron Complex, Angew. Chemie, 49(34), 5910-5912, (2010).
  • Ch. Bressler, C. Milne, V.-T. Pham, A. ElNahhas, R.M. van der Veen, W. Gawelda, S. Johnson, P. Beaud, D. Grolimund, M. Kaiser, C.N. Borca, G. Ingold, R. Abela, M. Chergui, Femtosecond XANES of the light-induced spin cross-over in a Iron(II) complex, SCIENCE, 323, 489–492, (2009).
  • F.C. Küpper, L.J. Carpenter, G.B. McFiggans, C.J. Palmer, T.J. Waite, E.-M. Boneberg, S. Woitsch, M. Weiller, R. Abela, D. Grolimund, Ph. Potin, A. Butler, G.W. Luther III, P.M.H. Kroneck, W. Meyer-Klaucke, M.C. Feiters, Iodide in kelp: an inorganic antioxidant in life impacting atmospheric chemistry, PNAS, 105(19), 6954-6958, (2008).
  • R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, H. Van Swygenhoven, P.M. Derlet, C.A. Volkert, D. Grolimund, Time resolved Laue diffraction of deforming micropillars, Phys. Rev. Lett., 99 (14): Art. No. 145505, (2007).
  • A. Froideval, R. Iglesias, M. Samaras, S. Schuppler, P. Nagel, D. Grolimund, M. Victoria, W. Hoffelner, Magnetic and structural properties of Fe-Cr alloys, Phys. Rev. Lett., 99, 237201(1-4), (2007).
  • P. Beaud, S. L. Johnson, A. Streun, R. Abela, D. Abramsohn, D. Grolimund, F. Krasniqi, T. Schmidt, V. Schlott, G. Ingold, Spatiotemporal Stability of Femtosecond Hard X-ray Undulator Radiation Studied by Control of Coherent Optical Phonons, Phys. Rev. Lett., 99, 174801(1-4), (2007).
  • D. Grolimund, M. Senn, M. Trottmann, M. Janousch, I. Bonhoure, A.M. Scheidegger, M. Marcus, Shedding new Light on Historical Metal Samples using Micro-focused Synchrotron X-Ray Fluorescence and Spectroscopy, Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy, 59, 1627-1635, (2004).
  • D. Grolimund, T.P. Trainor, J.P. Fitts, T. Kendelewicz, P. Liu, S.A. Chambers, G.E. Brown, Jr., Identification of Cr Species at the Solution-Hematite Interface after Cr(VI)-Cr(III) Reduction using GI-XAFS and Cr L-Edge NEXAFS, J. Synch. Rad., 6, 612, (1999).
  • D. Grolimund, M. Borkovec, K. Barmettler, H. Sticher, Colloid Facilitated Transport of Strongly Sorbing Contaminants in Natural Porous Media: A Laboratory Column Study, Research Communication, Environ. Sci. Technol., 30, 3118, (1996).


Selected list, for more details inquire mailto:daniel.grolimund@psi.ch here.
  • Crud depositions in Swiss Pressurized Water Reactors: compositional, molecular, and structural investigations using advanced analytical techniques, D. Grolimund, I. Günther; Swissnuclear (and AREVA GmbH)
  • Selenium Redox Reactions during Diffusion through Opalinus Clay and Tournemire Argillite, B. Frasca, D. Grolimund, O.X. Leupin, L. Van Loon, NAGRA and CEPHYTEN
  • A tuneable diffractive x-ray focusing device for chemical nano-imaging at the microXAS beam line. C. David, D. Grolimund, PSI FoKo, Paul Scherrer Institute
  • Assessing heterogeneities on the microscopic scale and implementation of such structures in a 3D transport model for compacted argillaceous materials (Amicam). L. Van Loon, A. Jakob, D. Grolimund, PSI FoKo, Paul Scherrer Institute
  • Quantitative Analysis of Micro-heterogeneous Systems: Joined Forces of Complementary Micro Beam Techniques. D. Grolimund, L.Van Loon, D. Günther, SNF Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Crystallographic analysis of micro-diffraction images from heterogeneous, polycrystalline samples. A novel approach to determine the mineral composition of the cement matrix and the cement/Opalinus clay interface. R. Dähn, P. Pattison, D. Grolimund, E. Wieland, PSI FoKo, Paul Scherrer Institute


  • Governor's Lectureship, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, 1999.
  • NOVARTIS Fellowship, "Shedding New Light on Interfacial Chemistry using Synchrotron-based Analytical Techniques", 1999.
  • Fritz Scheffer Award, The German Soil Science Society, 1998.


  • American Chemical Society
  • European Geosciences Union
  • German Soil Science Society