Synchrotron  radiation allows detailed information to be gathered from below the surface of a material through either full-field imaging, where the whole sample is illuminated, or through scanning, where the beam is focused to a small spot which is scanned across the sample. The high brightness and penetration depth of the synchrotron radiation from Diamond, together with its broadband coverage from X-rays to Infrared Radiation (IR), makes it possible to image a much larger range of materials and sample thicknesses than conventional sources, thus producing very high resolution images and at a faster rate. An additional technique called X-ray computed tomography can create three dimensional reconstructions of the internal sample volume. This makes it possible to view any cross-section of the virtual image at any angle.


  1. Beamlines
Beamlines -
B24 Cryo-TXM

B24 is the Phase III full-field transmission microscope at Diamond designed specifically to meet the rising demand for tomographic imaging of biological specimens under near physiological conditions. The technique bridges the resolution gap that exists between electron microscopy and conventional light microscopy and allows acquisition of tomographic data from both native and fluorescent-labelled samples.

I06 Nanoscience

I06 is a microfocus soft-X-ray beamline for X-ray photoelectron microscopy. It can be used to study nanostructures significant for sensors, catalysts and magnetic materials and nanoscale devices.

Energy: First harmonic circular: 106 - 1300 eV. Linear Horizontal: 80 - 2100 eV. Linear Vertical: 130 - 1500 eV

I08 Scanning X-ray Microscopy

Scanning X-ray Microscopy with variety of imaging and spectomicroscopy modes: Transmission incl. absorption and phase-sensitive contrasts, X-ray fluorescence as well as soft X-ray diffraction imaging (ptychography).

Beamsize: 20 nm (depends on imaging modes)

Energy: 0.25 - 4.2 keV

I12 (JEEP)

I12 is a high-energy beamline principally for Material Science, Engineering and Processing Science. However, other disciplines are also able to take advantage of the beamline’s high energies and open architecture. The instrument’s main focus is to allow in-situ studies of samples in environments as close as possible to real world environments using imaging, tomography, diffraction and small-angle scattering. I12 is particularly well suited to study large or dense objects and offers a unique sample and environment installation facility for weights up to 2000 kg.

Beamsize: From 30 micrometer x 30 micrometer to 50 mm x 15 mm (EH1) or 100 mm x 30 mm (EH2)

Energy: 53 keV – 150 keV

Detector: PCO.4000 (PCO.edge upgrade), Vision Research Phantom 7.3, Thales Pixium RF4343, Custom made 23-element Canberra Ge solid state

I13 X-ray Imaging & Coherence

I13 is Diamond’s longest beamline, dedicated to imaging, tomographic and coherence experiments across the biological, medical, geological, material, engineering and archealogical sciences.

Energy: Imaging branch: 8 - 30 keV; Coherence branch: 6 - 20 keV

Wavelength: Imaging branch: 40 - 160 pm; Coherence branch: 60 - 210 pm

Detector: Imaging branch: pco.4000, pco.dimax, pco.edge 5.5; Coherence branch: Maxipix, Excalibur

I18 Microfocus Spectroscopy

X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence imaging and diffraction using high-brightness focused X-ray beam. Other techniques available include X-ray Excited Optical Luminescence (XEOL), X-ray Fluorescence Tomography, Differential Phase Contrast Imaging.

Beamsize: 2 x 2.5 µm2

Energy: 2.05 - 20.5 keV

I14 Hard X-ray Nanoprobe

The Hard X-ray nanoprobe I14 beamline is a dedicated facility for micro-nano SAXS and nanoscale microscopy. The central theme of the beamline is the ability to obtain structural and chemically-specific information on a full range of materials (inorganic/organic) under both static and real (e.g. wet, heated, in-situ strain) conditions.

Beamsize: 25 nm

Energy: 5 - 25 keV

B22 Infrared Microspectroscopy (MIRIAM)

MIRIAM (Multimode InfraRed Microspectroscopy and Imaging) provides a brilliant and versatile microprobe for high resolution imaging of molecular structures as well as high sensitivity vibrational spectroscopy up to the THz range. Experiments span from biomedical applications to physical-chemical researches, with subsequent impact across a wide range of life and physical sciences.

Beamsize: 1 mm to 3 um

Energy: 0.6 meV to 1.2 eV

Wavelength: 2 mm to 1 um

Detector: MCT, DLaTGS and Bolometer

  • B24, Full Field Cryo-transmission X-ray microscope for Biology.
  • Michael Drakopoulos, Principal Beamline Scientist on I12.
  • B22, MIRIAM
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