I10, the Beamline for Advanced Dichroism Experiments (BLADE) welcomed its first users this week, becoming Diamond’s 19th operational beamline.
First users on BLADE: (L-R) Tom Beale (Durham University), Paul Steadman (Principal Beamline Scientist on BLADE), Graeme Johnstone (University of Oxford), Russell Ewings (ISIS), Peter Hatton (Durham University)
In December 2010, researchers from the University of Oxford, Durham University and ISIS used BLADE to investigate multiferroics, a class of materials that simultaneously exhibit magnetic and electric order. This rare phenomenon can be exploited for use in computing, for example data storage, where the ability to switch the material’s magnetic state enables the storage of a large amount of data in a small space.
The group used BLADE’s soft X-rays to look at the magnetic order of the atoms within their material, dysprosium manganese (DyMn2O5), to investigate the coupling between magnetism and ferroelectrics.
“We’re trying to understand the principles of the mechanism involved with a view to be able to develop multiferroic materials that could work at room temperature. They hold huge potential for new solutions for data storage.”
Principal Investigator, Dr Russell Ewings, ISIS
Russell Ewings inside the BLADE beamline
The 19th beamline at Diamond to go into operation, BLADE can be used to investigate the magnetisation and the magnetic structure of novel nanostructured systems. The BLADE beamline team will now continue working with experienced users to commission the beamline for full optimisation in 2011.
BLADE is part of the second phase of construction at Diamond which is due to be complete in 2012 and which will bring the facility up to 22 operational beamlines. Beyond this, Diamond has been awarded funding from the Government, via the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and the Wellcome Trust to build a further 10 beamlines between now and 2018.
For more on the BLADE beamline visit www.diamond.ac.uk/I10
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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