Media | Episode 19 Transcript
From Diamond Light Source, this is the Diamond Podcast
Meera Senthilingam - Hello and welcome to Diamond Light Source podcast with me, Meera Senthyingum. This month, it’s time to get materialistic as we highlight some of the latest research in the field of materials science included in Diamond’s Annual Report out this month. We’ll be hearing how X-rays are being used to increase the applications of light-emitting diodes, how probing piazo electric materials could provide a less toxic future and how solar cells are being made more efficient using DNA.
“We synthesised nucleosides which are the essential building blocks of the DNA, modified with chromophores, so that we can build up a new molecule which as new functionalities where we can much more efficiently harvest sunlight and use it to inject electrons to improve the efficiency of solar cells”.
The University of Southampton’s Eugen Stulz will be revealing how DNA can be used as a building tool for new materials, later in the programme when we’ll also be bringing you the latest news and events from the synchrotron, including new insights into the movements of comets in our solar system. So all that coming up in this June edition of the Diamond Light Source Podcast.
The Diamond Podcast
As we heard in the last edition of this podcast, the birth of Diamond began 10 years ago, 5 years later, the first beamlines came into operation and now 20 beamlines are functioning and being used to produce so many scientific papers and findings that an Annual Report can be published. Diamond’s Chair, Lord Alec Broers, is still astonished by the variety of science enabled at the synchrotron.
Alec – Well synchrotrons can probably serve a broader spectrum of science than almost any large scientific instrument and Diamond is the largest scientific project in the UK. It serves everybody: from Rolls Royce, who want to look at a turbine blade, to people designing new drugs who want to know the structure of the molecule, to preserving the Mary Rose from the acidic deposits that ended up in the wood from the sea.
Meera – So quite a great range of research there. How about does it touch on your own area, you’re an electrical engineer by background?
Alec – Yes, all sorts of things have come out of synchrotron science to support high technology. I’m an electronic engineer, there’s no better way to diagnose what is going on in the highest performance electronic devices. New devices have come out of synchrotron research, so it’s all pervasive, anything in science, because it’s just a light source, but it produces more intense light and a broader spectrum of light all the way from infra-red light that we can’t see, all the way on through the spectrum of light that we can see, on into ultraviolet light and x-rays. And when you shine this radiation on things and do clever science with that radiation, the way you detect it and the way you see it interacting with matter , you can find out all sorts of thing about materials, about devices, how they work, about the atomic structure of materials, so its all pervasive.
Meera – What you’ve touched on there is the fact you can probe to quite small levels and look quite deep within materials and so on.
Alec – yes, well you see, microscopes are probably one of the most important scientific instruments ever. The resolution of a light microscope is set by the wavelength of light, if you want to see much smaller than the wavelength of light, then you have to go to shorter wavelength radiation, either to UV or ultimately to x-rays. You can also use electrons, but electrons mean you have to put your sample into vacuum and also slice it up very thinly if you want to get very high resolution. I spent most of my life building electron microscopes so in some way they compete with x-rays but in some ways they are highly complementary. With x-rays of course you can look at samples whilst they are still alive as it were and uncontaminated by the process that you are using to prepare them for the microscope.
Meera – And how much has this changed, say, over the 5 years that research has been taking place and studies occurring? What was it like at the start and how much has been made to be more possible, I guess, as the years went on?
Alec – When it came into action, the Beamlines came on, as it were, one at a time. Ultimately there are going to be 32 beamlines, in other words, holes in the stainless steel tube in which the electrons are circulating, out of which the light comes. So we started with 1 or 2, or 3 or 5, now there are 20, by 2018, there are going to be 32. There’s probably hundreds of experiments going on using all those beamlines.
Meera – Well you’ve mentioned that because so many different types of experiments can go on, there are so many areas of research, such as cultural heritage and so on, is there any piece of research that stands out in your mind that’s taken place here over the past 5 years?
Alec – Diamond has been able to analyse the structure of viruses that can cause all sorts of things from foot and mouth disease to other sorts of disease. This is phenomenally important. For me as an engineer, some of the experiments that are going to be done are as exciting as anywhere where you are going to be able to look at things actually while they are working, look inside engines and actually look at the combustion space in an engine, but the experiments are across the board.
Meera – What else do you hope for Diamond’s future?
Alec – Well one of my hopes is that we will use it increasingly to support our industries. Diamond can provide invaluable data for industry to improve and develop their products, to go alongside innovation when you go into new area completely. There’s a lot of industrial use of Diamond already, if you look at all of the projects, including those projects where Universities are carrying out work at Diamond which is also looked at Industry, we’re getting up to about 20% of our capacity for Industry, but if you look at the economy today and the desperate need in the UK to restore our manufacturing base to the high levels that it can attain, then that’s one of my aims.
Meera – Fingers crossed! That was Diamond’s Chair, Alec Broers. Due to the range of research made possible at Diamond, there have been over 1,700 scientific papers published as a result of work at the synchrotron. These range from the life sciences, across to drug development and aeronautical engineering. But there are some areas of research where fields are overlapping, or coming together to create and even wide range of possibilities, including the use of DNA to build electronic materials. Eugen Stulz from the University of Southampton explains how.
Eugen – Our primary area of research is based around DNA, Chemistry and DNA nanotechnology, combined with organic synthesis of chromophores and metal complexes. We are trying to combine those two research areas to create new functional materials with a broad range of applications ranging from materials chemistry, biological chemistry, intermedical applications
Meera - So you mention using DNA and kind of templates of DNA, working with chromophores. When you say chromophores, what are chromophores?
Eugen – Chromophores are molecules which are coloured to the naked eyes, we are looking at molecules which have a very bright colour like red, green or blue, so they absorb very efficiently light and those molecules, depending on the structure and the properties of those molecules, are used in light harvesting for example, light to energy conversion like artificial photosynthesis, or they can be used as electronic wires where they are capable of transmitting electrons along the molecules, along a polymer for example.
Meera – And so focussing in on perhaps a particular example, how are you combing, say, knowledge of DNA and knowledge of chromophores and these types of molecules together to make an end product?
Eugen – We know how to synthesise DNA, we know how DNA looks like and we know how it behaves, we know its sequence components and its particular behaviour, so what we are doing is we synthesise nucleotides, which are essential building blocks of the DNA and modify them with chromophores or with metal complexes and then we take the nucleotides to the DNA synthesiser and we program the sequence of the DNA and let the instrument synthesise the DNA. So with that we can build up a new molecule which has new functionalities at precisely the position we want to have and with precisely the composition that we want to have. And there is no other system available which has such an advantage of a building block system as DNA.
Meera – And I guess, what kinds of role, or what kind of functionality are you trying to introduce here and control?
Eugen – we are introducing functionalities that are going into the range of electrochemistry for example, so we can do redox chemistry, we can oxidise and reduce the molecules, they can absorb light, they can transfer light into energy and the other side is we are designing in new optical features which give us handles to detect DNA and determine structure of DNA more precisely and on a different level that is currently available with the standard spectroscopic technology.
Meera – So, your aim really is to kind of build these molecules in an attempt to control or regulate electron movement and kind of electricity and therefore potentially would these have applications say in new sources of say renewable energies or energy production?
Eugen – This is certainly one of the areas that we are looking into. We are trying to build up systems where we can much more efficiently harvest the sunlight and use it to inject electrons into titanium dioxide for example, or silicon, to improve the efficiency of the solar cells, or we are trying to create electronic wires which mimic the silicon microchip technology, but give us another level of addressability by using light to selectively switch on and switch off selected components.
Meera – What, say, problems or challenges will these hopefully overcome? So what’s perhaps some of the limitations of solar cells at the moment, or even silicon chips, that these could help with basically, or make more efficient?
Eugen – We would hope that we can, for example, with the solar cells, harvest much broader spectrum of sunlight, because the current silicon solar cell technology is quite limited in the amount of sunlight that it can convert, the wavelengths that is can convert, so we would hope to use a much broader range of wavelengths and with that, increase the efficiency. In silicon microchip technology, we are reaching a limit of size, so we cannot really go much smaller than we are with the current technology. So we are going towards the bottom up approach and hope to build up systems from individual molecules which will give us several orders of magnitude smaller microchip devices that we currently have.
Meera – And I guess, where does Diamond really come in? So how are you really using x-rays or generally synchrotron light to work on this.
Eugen – We are using the synchrotron radiation particularly to determine the structure of our molecules, in particular the beamline B23, the CD spectroscopy, to look into our molecules spectroscopically to determine the structure and the behaviour of our molecules. So we can see how the DNA potentially transforms structures, on the other hand we can look at our chromophores and see how they interact, strong interactions, weak interactions, whether it is potentially promising towards a materials application, or rather promising towards a biological application.
Meera – And what stage are you at at the moment? So what types of molecules, what extent have you been able to create these molecules and what now do you need to do perhaps to get to this end point?
Eugen – At the moment, we know how to make the molecules, we have a wide range of different modifications at hand that we can incorporate into the DNA and we now need to prove the functionality of these molecules, that they actually behave the way that we predict them to behave and beyond that we will hopefully very soon be in a position to start looking into the first types of applications as mentioned in solar cell technology or microchip technology.
Meera – Eugen Stulz from the University of Southampton. Now whilst Eugen’s work is building new molecules and new materials for use in technology, Pam Thomas from the University of Warwick is studying a well-established material used across the board in most technologies we see today. The material is PZT, or Lead zirconate titanate, which fits into a wider group known as smart, or functional materials.
Pam – So these would typically be materials that if you apply some stimulus to them, for example, if you were to apply an electric field, they would respond in some measurable way and potentially, some useful way. So for example is piezoelectric materials you can apply an electric field to the material, and it will respond by changing its shape, deforming in some way, or conversely, you could apply a stress material and it would respond by giving an electric response, and electric current that you could measure. So both of those things allow you to use the material, for example, you can imagine if you put an electric current through something , the material changes shape, so it’s able to move something, it could vibrate a mirror for example if you put an electric field on which was an alternating electric field, then the material will respond in sympathy and vibrate in and out.
Meera – What actually usually constitutes these piezoelectric materials, so what gives them such properties?
Pam – To have a piezoelectric effect of the sort I’ve described, then the material must have a particular type of symmetry, so that’s the way the atoms are arranged, that’s the first thing. So the arrangement of the atoms must be such that they’re so-called non-centrosymmetric, that means that if you’ve got an atom at one point, let’s call it X,Y, Z, you don’t have the identical atom at –X, -Y, -Z. So they have to have this particular symmetry where that doesn’t happen. Now there’s lots of non-centrosymmetric materials, which means there’s lots of piezoelectrics. Indeed there’s a very common material that people will have heard of which is quartz, which we have in our watches, is a piezoelectric. But the particular types of materials that we’re looking at are based on something called the perovskite structure, which has a general chemical which you can call ABO3, where A and B are metals and Oxygen is the O3. And the Industry standard material that’s used in many applications is a material called lead zirconate titanate, which is PbZrTi O3 and this is the one we’ve been studying.
Meera – And what really are you focussing in on then with your studies, so what’s currently not understood and how are you setting about actually trying to get that insight?
Pam – Well this particular PZT material is what is called a solid solution between Lead Titanate and Lead Zirconate. That means essentially that you mix those two end members together and you get all the compositions inbetween. And as you go across that range of compositions from one end to the other, from Lead titanate to Lead Zirconate, you find that the structure changes its symmetry and its properties with composition and that there’s a very special line in this composition diagram, which is called a phase diagram, where the properties change dramatically and near where you get the best piezoelectric properties. And one of the biggest problems in understanding the problems there is that until very recently, this material, PZT, had only been available as a powder and experiments on a powder are only ever average because a powder, is an average, it’s mixed up little crystallites of lots of different orientations. And the advantage we had was to be able to work, almost for the first time, on single crystals that were grown by collaborators in Canada which allowed us to look much more carefully at this particular compositional region and really try and understand it in a different way.
Meera – So, say the perfect composition of these lead titanate and lead zirconate, that the right combination is know, but what you’re trying to see is why that particular combination works as well asit does?
Pam – Yes, we’re trying to understand the mechanism and this is particularly important at the present time as there is legislation across the World that’s looking at eliminating lead from all technological materials in the near future. And clearly PZT is a material that technology relies on, they’re used in keyboards for the blind – the touch pressure of the pads under the keyboard can be used to give information as an electrical signal, so that you don’t have to be able to see; they are also used as fuel injectors in a huge range of cars, for example in the UK Jaguar and Land Rover use a fuel injector based on PZT; and then they’re used as transducers, so that’s again its converting electrical into mechanical motion. There’s huge numbers of applications in very high-tech capacity and we’re going to have to replace it at some point with a non-lead materials, so we need to understand how this one works in order to try to design and find a lead-free material to potentially do the same.
Meera – And so is this where your work at Diamond comes in? So you’ve managed to form these crystals and are you using synchrotron light to probe and see what’s going on?
Pam – Yes, what we did was brought some of the crystals that we could work on, we took them to look at the structure and look how the structure changed with composition and temperature using the high resolution station I16 at Diamond.
Meera – And, say, as you get more and more insight into this, how would you really use this information to see if you could find, say, variations that wouldn’t be using lead? So, is it the case, is lead playing a key role in this type of symmetry and you would try and find an alternative, how would you use this information to try and find non-lead-based versions?
Pam – Well, lead is a key element in producing this kind of symmetry because the lead atom itself, when it’s surrounded by oxygens, likes to go, what we call, ‘off centre’. It doesn’t like to be in the middle of its oxygens or symmetrical, it likes to displace away.So there are various aspects to the search, one place to start would be to look at bismuth based materials and that is something that we’ve been looking at for a number of years because bismuth has many of the characteristics of lead, but not the same toxicity in the human body. I mean the beauty of PZT is that across its whole compositions range you can pick out compositions that give you the properties you want. So, for example, you’d have one composition to stick onto a submarine under the sea to do sonar type applications and another composition that you’d put into, for example, a fuel injector in a high-performance car. So across the whole range you can find PZT’s that do everything and although we’ve found other materials that can do some things, we haven’t yet found another material that could do everything that PZT could do.
Meera – Pam Thomas from the University of Warwick.
Did you know that Diamond’s floor level monitoring system shows Diamond tilting twice a day due to the moon passing overhead?
Meera – You’re listening to the Diamond Light Source podcast and this month we are delving into the world of material science to see how materials, both old and new, are being built and improved upon for use in new technologies. Still to come we discover a new use for light emitting diodes in sterilisation, but first it’s time for our news update from Sarah Bucknall, starting with some new insight into the workings of proteins.
Sarah – Recent research published in Chemical Science was published by some researchers at the University of Bristol and they used the Circular Dichroism beamline, which is B23, to challenge the common belief that proteins are dependent on water to survive and function. So, proteins allow us to convert food into energy, they supply oxygen to our blood and muscles, they drive our immune systems. And they have evolved in a water-rich environment. So it has been understood that you can’t have a functioning protein without water. But the researchers at Bristol have shown that the oxygen-carrying protein myoglobin can refold in an environment that is almost completely devoid of water molecules.
Meera – So the point here is that it’s functioning and it’s changing despite there being no water?
Sarah – That’s right. The researchers used B23 to track changes in protein and they were really surprised to see that it could basically resist such high temperatures. They cooled the protein down from a temperature of 155°C and the protein refolded back to its original structure and normally if you heat up a protein to temperatures like that, it would denature and it would lose its function.
Meera – And so could this prove to have some applications therefore now that they’ve found this out?
Sarah – Well these findings could actualkkly pave the way for the development of new industrial enzymes where hyper-thermal resistance would play a crucial role. For example, in applications ranging from biosensor development, or electrochemical reduction of CO2 to liquid fuels.
Meera – And well from proteins kind of deep within our bodies, moving much further out and out into space now?
– Yes, we had some researchers from the University of Leicester bring some cometry grains and looked at them with our Microfocus Spectroscopy beamline
, I18. So these were tiny particles of the Comet Wild2. The grains were collected by the NASA Stardust mission
Meera – And what, I guess, do we know about Wild2 so far? What were they even looking at about it?
Sarah – Well one of the things they know is that it’s got this rusty, reddish colour on the surface and by studying it at Diamond, they are able to fully analyse the mineralogy of the sample. And so they could actually detect there were deposits of iron on the surface of the comet. So that helps to explain that reddish colour and it confirms that it’s space weathering that’s actually deposited those grains on the comet.
Meera – And when you say weathering, I guess what kind of space weathering has it been subjected to over this time?
Sarah – So the comet is actually 4.5 billion years old, so over that time it’s been subjected to being bombarded by particles that are in the solar wind and so this research just generally gives us a really good insight into the life history of comets and our solar system.
Meera – Now as well as the research though Sarah, you’re always doing quite a lot of creative, you’re kind of combing science and arts a lot here at Diamond and you’ve been doing that this month too?
Sarah – Yes, well as you know it’s our 10year anniversary this year so we thought it was a really good opportunity to pause and celebrate the way we’ve told our science in a creative manner. So we’ve done this through a number of art projects, we’ve done it with our recent Light Reading project, so this month we’ve just brought together members of the local community in Oxfordshire who are involved in arts and culture and science, and just celebrating the fact that we’ve got such a good story to tell here at Diamond and there’s more than one way you can tell it.
Meera – And how would, I guess, the local community members and artists benefit by visiting Diamond in this way?
Sarah – Wee, what happens at Diamond is important to everybody. It can affect their everyday lives, so it’s just a really good way of getting them engaged and involved in finding out what it is that we do here and it’s a great way to inspire the young as well and hopefully inspire them to take up careers in science and engineering and just generally reach out to people in an alternative way.
Meera – And another way you are reaching out to the young is by extending your Light Reading Competition which was a short story competition you recently held as well?
Sarah – That’s right, it was really successful, I mean as you know we first ran it with our staff here at Diamond as a pilot and they submitted their short stories. We then opened it up Nationally and now that we’ve done that, we want to expand it even further, so there’s two ways we are looking at doing that: one of them is to go International with it, because we are a member of a global collaboration with other synchrotrons around the World; and then also we want to open it up to Oxfordshire secondary schools and get younger people involved and we’re going to open that up in September. We’ll be putting announcements out on the website iniviting short stories.
Meera – So that’s in September, so before then you’ve actually got one of your open days coming up as well.
Sarah – That’s right, we’re actually running a series of open days because it’s our 10th Anniversary we really want to make a big deal of it and make a really good occasion for everyone. So it’s 5 days in June, starting Saturday 16th of June. What’s going to happen is we’re actually going to have our Users and our Scientists, our Engineers with exhibitions stands, so they’ll be demos and hands-on interactive that people can take part in to learn about the research that’s happening here, and then also of course they’ll have the opportunity to go inside the machine and look around and there’s a link to the event from our home page on our website.
Meera – And that web address is diamond.ac.uk. That was Sarah Bucknall from Diamond’s Communications team who’ll be back in the next edition with more news and events from the Light Source. Now it’s time to get materialistic once again as we join Diamond’s Scientist Slava Kachkanov on site at Diamond at beamline B16 as he experiments with the future of LED lighting by probing the structure of molecules known as nitrides.
Slava - Nitrides are important class of material which at the moment are underpinning ongoing solid state lighting revolution. Essentially, all the light bulbs at some point in the future will be based on light emitting diodes (LED), which is much more efficient in terms of energy consumption and brightness as well.
Meera – And how do they play a part in these diodes then? So what, how do they work in order to provide lighting?
Slava – People make LEDs out of the nitrides and how it works essentially they deposit alternating thin layer of these nitride materials which are embedded into the LED structure and then you apply voltage to it, this structure produces a light by changing the property of the material we can tune the colour of the LED.
Meera – So which types of nitrides do you work with, which ones, what alloys of these do you mix up in order to get the different colours?
Slava – At the moment, there are two most important nitride alloys. The most important one is indium gallium nitride. This is the alloy which mainly emits visible light. At the moment, the technology can produce indium alloys emitting blue; at the moment there is a drive to shift that wavelength to green and to possibly red. The second type of the nitride alloy is indium aluminium nitride. With this alloy it is possible to produce efficiently a UV light.
Meera – So LEDs are quite widely used at the moment so what really are you looking into in terms of making them better, what are the actual challenges facing them at the moment?
Slava – At the moment the challenge is for indium gallium nitrite materials, the challenge is producing indium gallium material which emits green light. So what I’m doing here will help people to understand the microstructure. With this knowledge, people will be able to improve technology.
Meera – So you want a better green light? So that is combines with red and blue in order to give you a good white light?
Slava – Ah yes, at the moment indium gallium nitride material can emit easily blue light, however, the red light is not yet possible, but the green light, people are starting to get. So when we will have red, green and blue emitting indium gallium nitrite, people will make white LEDs, which will replace the incandescent and fluorescent lightbulbs and these LEDs will also be more energy efficient. At the moment, there are white LEDs, however indium gallium nitride produces blue light which pumps the phosphorous which surround the blue indium gallium nitride LED and the phosphorous emits red or green light. This combination produces white light, however, the fluorescent material is not very energy efficient.
Meera – So we’re in beamline B16 here at Diamond at the moment and you’ve got an experiment going on just behind these thick walls behind us. What are you experimenting today?
Slava – At the moment I am measuring the microdiffraction from indium aluminium nitride epilayer which is 98 nanometers thick.
Meera – So we actually have the sample here that you are looking into and so it’s just, I mean what I can see is a very small sample on a small square slide that you’re going to be putting in to the machine.
Slava – Ah yes.
Meera – And so this is what indium aluminium nitride?
Slava – This material can be used in the UV emitting LEDs
Meera – And so what are you exactly looking at? So you’ve got an image here in front of us of what’s kind of being produced from the experiment currently going on, what are we seeing here?
Slava – What we are seeing is a two-dimensional diffraction pattern produced by the sample. What I’m doing here is rocking the sample and measuring the two-dimensional diffraction pattern at each point. Later I will combine these two dimensional pictures to produce a 3-dimensional diffraction pattern from the indium aluminium nitride dipolar which will indicate it’s structural and crystal quality.
Meera – Because what I can see here is a ray of orange really, but them some yellow dots which are kind of really high in population in the middle, so there’s kind of a yellow blob or two yellow blobs in the centre here, what’s that?
Slava – So, the yellow blobs are actually the diffraction pattern. The one which is kind of ellipsoidally shaped is the gallium nitrade substrate on which the indium aluminium nitrade dipolar is grown. The one which looks more rounded is actually the diffraction pattern from indium aluminium nitrate dipolar.
Meera – and so you would combine lots of these images together to give you a 3D image of this nitride?
Slava – Ah, yes.
Meera – So what can you tell using a 3D image and what would you hope to then improve somehow?
Slava – So, this 3D diffraction pattern, it carries information about the crystal growth and the crystal structure of indium aluminium nitrate. So I have different samples which are grown at different growth conditions, say temperature or the composition, and later we will make a comparison between the 3D diffraction patterns from different samples and this will help crystal growers to grow a better quality material. What I’m trying to do is just try to find the relation between this 3D diffraction pattern and the growth conditions.
Meera – To make, I guess, the ultimate nitride?
Slava – That’s right yeah.
Meera – And what is the optimum nitride? Is this one that would be the most energy efficient in a diode, or what would you class as the peak nitride that you want?
Slava – The ultimate nitride will be a nitride yes which produces the more photons per power supply, let’s say.
Meera – And I guess with this particular indium aluminium nitride, this will be generating UV light, so you want optimum UV with the aims I guess, what will some of the applications be, some kind of sterilisation?
Slava – Ah, yes, sterilisation mainly. Water purification, sterilisation.
Meera – And how far away are we from this?
Slava – At the moment people report that they have made LEDs but they are still not very efficient and the issue here is actually the growth conditions. So the people have to optimise the growth conditions to produce the most efficient UV emitting LED.
Meera – And you also mentioned so what of indium gallium nitride that’s being optimised to try a produce green light, how far are we frim that?
Slava – It is kind of established process, but it has not yet been commercialised
Meera – And I guess overall, I mean, looking at the nitrides as a whole, are these going to dominate our future of light production?
Slava – Yes, I think so, yeah. They are robust materials, in comparison to both incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.
Meera – So these are tough, they’re energy efficient, and they’re very good at what they do?
Slava – Yes.
Meera – Slava Kachkanov from Diamond Light Source. Now that’s almost it for this month, but before we go, we continue our theme celebrating Diamond’s 10 year anniversary by meeting another member of the Diamond team to hear their perspective on life at the synchrotron.
Fred – I’m Fred Mosselmans, I’m one of the Principal Beamline Scientists here working on a Microfocus Spectroscopy Beamline and I have been employed by Diamond for about 6.5 years, but it was only the third interview and fourth job application I made before I was offered a job and I well remember one of the principal beamline scientists who was already employed here telling me just before my successful interview that I had their permission to throw the Physical Sciences director out of the window if I wasn’t offered the job that time. Fortunately it didn’t come to that.
About eighteen months later was the day that I18 took first light, and I’d put the obligatory bottle of champagne in the fridge in the second floor kitchen. We opened the shutter, an image appeared on a fluorescence screen, but it had a strange shadow down the middle of it and a few seconds later the shutter closed due to a vacuum trip. We tried again about 15 minutes later and the same thing happened. And what had happened was a thermocouple on a beam position monitor blade had fallen into the direct beam path during installation and this caused the trip. The champagne stayed in the fridge that day. However learning from Robert the Bruce, the second attempt at with beam commissioning went a lot better after the problem had been fixed and we were able to open the champagne.
Meera - Fred Mosselmans, Principal Beamline Scientist on Diamond’s Microfocus Spectroscopy Beamline. Now that is it for this edition of the Podcast, but do join us again in July as we bring you more scientific discoveries taking place at Diamond. In the meantime, if you have any questions about Diamond or the research taking place there, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can listen to previous editions of this programme at www.diamond.ac.uk/podcast or www.nakedscientist.com/diamond. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Thank you this month to Alec Broers, Eugen Stulz, Pam Thomas, Sarah Bucknall, Slava Kachkanov and Fred Mosselmans. I’m Meera Senthilingum, and until the next edition, goodbye.
The Diamond podcast is brought to you by Diamond Light source and produced by the Nakedscientists.com.