Diamond and Rolls-Royce shine light on world’s biggest synchrotron stage
On Thursday 2nd December 2010, leading scientists and policy makers gathered at Diamond Light Source for the official opening of a unique new research station that can create molecular-scale 3D images of large objects such as aerospace and engineering components, and explore their structures in atomic-scale detail.
Diamond’s I12 Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing Beamline Experimental Hutch 2 (known as JEEP EH2) produces one of the largest high-energy monochromatic X-ray beam of any synchrotron in the world, and also has an exceptionally large sample mounting stage, housed in a specially constructed end-station. While most synchrotron beamlines focus brilliant light or X-rays on microscopic samples such as protein crystals, JEEP can be used to examine massive samples over a metre long and up to 2,000 kg (2 tonnes) in weight and position them with micro-metre accuracy.
Lord Broers, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, past President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and now Chairman of Diamond Light Source, said: “Diamond provides world-leading experimental facilities for UK science and industry. By enabling large-scale components to be studied in such incredible detail, JEEP marks a real advance in our technological capabilities.”
Professor David Rugg, Material Specialist from Rolls-Royce
A team from Imperial College London headed by Professor Peter Lee are also using JEEP to examine the internal microstructure on a range of materials including metal alloys, frozen soils and bone tissue with levels of precision that have never previously been possible. Other users include the University of Manchester and high-tech manufacturer Johnson Matthey, who use Diamond to develop products such as bio-engineered pharmaceuticals, energy-efficient catalysts and nano-electronic components.
Left to right: Prof. David Rugg (Rolls-Royce), Lord Broers (Diamond), Dr Michael Drakopoulos (Diamond), Prof. Michael Sterling (STFC), Graham Evans MP and Prof. Gerd Materlik (Diamond)
Professor Gerd Materlik, CEO Diamond Light Source