John Sutter


John Sutter is an Optics Scientist in the Optics and Metrology Group.  John joined Diamond in June 2006 after working at SPring-8. 


Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778626

Key Research Area

  1. Research Expertise
  2. Collaborations
  3. Publications
  4. Biography
Research Expertise -

Research Expertise

X-ray optics, inelastic X-ray scattering, optics software development.

Optical components such as lenses, mirrors and monochromators are installed at all synchrotron X-ray beamlines. It is therefore in the interest of both beamline scientists and users to design and install them optimally for each beamline's area of specialization. Furthermore, new types of optical components that will yield smaller X-ray focal sizes with higher flux, X-ray spots of controllable size, or high-flux beams of small bandwidth are desired by users in many fields such as macromolecular crystallography, inelastic X-ray scattering and X-ray spectroscopy. For all of these, "at-wavelength metrology," the ability to measure the performance of these optics with X-rays under real beamline conditions, has become indispensable.

The aims of my research project are varied. I have applied at-wavelength metrology to automate the optimization of bimorph mirrors at many of Diamond's beamlines. These are complex X-ray optics with 8-16 actuators, but by using my methods, I have been able to tailor their focal distances and the resulting sample beam sizes to the beamline scientists' needs. I am actively involved in the simulation and performance testing of silicon crystal X-ray monochromators. I am also participating in a project to improve methods of clamping monochromator crystals in order to reduce strain while still maintaining sufficient cooling. Finally, I was one member of a team that developed, tested, and successfully installed a compact X-ray collimator for a high energy resolution inelastic X-ray scattering setup.

I took part in the proof-of-principle experiment on the high energy resolution inelastic X-ray scattering setup named above. I also developed a wavefront propagation code for running physical optics calculations on diffracting crystals. After my collaborators at Brookhaven added my code to their physical optics software package, I benchmarked the code with some simple examples. One of my collaborators has already used the new code to simulate a planned inelastic X-ray scattering beamline at NSLS-II.

I work with the beamline scientists at Diamond to design and install the types of X-ray optics that will best fill the needs of their users. I also simulate and investigate the performance of novel or unusual X-ray optical schemes. Where necessary I write new software to calculate the performance of an X-ray optical setup from first principles.


Collaborations - +


  • APS-IXS collaboration: Development of an ultra-high-resolution inelastic X-ray scattering (UHRIX) device at the Advanced Photon Source. I worked with postdoc Kiran Mundboth and staff scientist Steve Collins to develop the compact X-ray collimator. The complete setup was successfully tested by Yuri Shvyd'ko (leader), Stanislav Stoupin, Martin Tolkiehn and myself.
  • SRW collaboration: Development of a new code for physical optics calculations on diffracting crystals. SRW is a software package developed by Oleg Chubar and Alexey Suvorov at NSLS-II, Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Publications - +


  • J. P. Sutter, M. Amboage, S. Hayama & S. Diaz-Moreno, "Geometrical and wave-optical effects on the performance of a bent-crystal dispersive X-ray spectrometer,"(2010), Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A621, 627-636.
  • John Sutter, Simon Alcock & Kawal Sawhney, "In situ beamline analysis and correction of active optics," (2012), J. Synchrotron Rad. 19, 960-968.
  • John P. Sutter, Oleg Chubar & Alexey Suvorov, "Perfect crystal propagator for physical optics simulations with Synchrotron Radiation Workshop," (2014), Proceedings of the SPIE 9209, 92090L.
  • K. Mundboth, J. Sutter, D. Laundy, S. Collins, S. Stoupin & Y. Shvyd'ko, "Tests and Characterization of a Laterally Graded Multilayer Montel Mirror," (2014), J. Synchrotron Rad. 21, 16-23.
  • Yuri Shvyd'ko, Stanislav Stoupin, Deming Shu, Stephen P. Collins, Kiran Mundboth, John Sutter & Martin Tolkiehn, "High-Contrast Sub-Millivolt Inelastic X-ray Scattering for Nano- and Meso-Scale Science," (2014), Nature Communications 5, 4219.
Biography - +


John Sutter is a researcher in X-ray optics. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Purdue University (Indiana, USA) in 2000. His doctoral research was performed at the Advanced Photon Source in X-ray backscattering and interferometry. He worked from 2000 to 2003 in X-ray interferometry as a postdoctoral fellow at HASYLAB, then from 2003 to 2006 as a postdoctoral fellow on the inelastic X-ray scattering beamline BL35XU of SPring-8. In 2006 he joined Diamond Light Source as an optics staff scientist. Since then he has been involved in diverse projects concerning the development, design and installation of X-ray optical components throughout Diamond and at other synchrotrons.