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At the end of the 2015/16 Financial Year, there were 28 operational beamlines at Diamond. The remaining five beamlines to join are either in commissioning phases or under construction. By 2020, all Phase III beamlines will be operational with user experiments underway. An overview of their activities and progress is outlined below.
|Beamline||PBS||Status (by end of FY)||First User|
|I05 - Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES)||Moritz Hoesch||Operational||2013|
|B21 - High Automated Throughput SAXS (HATSAXS)||Robert Rambo||Operational||2013|
|I08 - Scanning X-ray Microscopy (SXM)||Burkhard Kaulich||Operational||2014|
|B24 - Cryo-TXM||Liz Duke||Operational in optimisation mode||2015|
|I23 - Long-Wavelength Macromolecular Crystallography||Armin Wagner||Commissioning||2016|
|I15-1 - XPDF||Heribert Wilhelm||Operational is optimisation mode||2016|
|I02-2 - Versatile MX (VMXi)||Thomas Sorensen||Commissioning||2016|
|B07 - Versatile Soft X-ray (VERSOXS)||Georg Held||Construction||2016|
|I14 - Hard X-ray Nanoprobe||Paul Quinn||Commissioning||2017|
|I21 - Resonant Inelastic Soft X-ray Scattering||Kejin Zhou||Construction||2017|
|I02-1 - Versatile MX (VMXm)||Gwyndaf Evans||Construction||2018|
|DIAD: Dual Imaging and Diffraction||Michael Drakopoulos||Construction||2020|
I05 is a facility dedicated to the study of electronic structures by Angle-Resolved PhotoEmission Spectroscopy (ARPES). This technique is applied to materials with exotic electronic ground states such as unconventional superconductors, solids exhibiting charge and spin density waves, excitonic insulators and non-Fermi liquids. The first branch, which is for HR (high resolution)-ARPES experiments, has been successfully operating since 2013. The second branch is dedicated to nano-ARPES measurements and welcomed its first users in spring 2016. Together these two branches support users studying materials such as oxide superconductors, topological matter and transition metal chalcogenides.
Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is used to study particles in solution on B21. SAXS provides a resolution-limited, structural snapshot of the sample and can be used to study slow processes, such as fibre formation. In early 2017, B21 upgraded its X-ray optics with an eighty-fold increase in X-ray intensity and up to a two hundred-fold increase in the signal-to-noise ratio. This upgrade involved replacing the monochromator with a double multilayer monochromator. Coupled with the exceptionally low background scatter, the increased intensity has pushed the sample concentration requirements substantially lower and enabled sub-second measurements. As a result of these enhancements, B21 is now one of the most sensitive beamlines internationally.
I08 is the Scanning X-ray Microscopy (SXM) beamline for morphological, elemental and chemical speciation on a broad range of organic-inorganic interactions in a 250-4400 eV photon energy range and sample investigations under ambient or cryogenic conditions, which is unique for an SXM facility. The beamline extended its portfolio of specimen environments to functional cells allowing in situ nano-fluidics and electromagnetic biasing. In early 2017, I08 faced its first major upgrade in the frame of Scanning and Mapping projects, which offer optimised and improved data collection and analysis. The design and construction of a dedicated soft X-ray spectro- and tomo-ptychography branch line has begun. This branch is expected to be available to the user communities in 2019.
B24 is a full-field transmission microscope 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. The operational energy range for B24 is 200 eV-2.6 keV, which allows imaging via absorption contrast within the water window as well as phase contrast at higher energies. The beamline is presently operating in optimisation mode. In the future, B24 will be upgraded to allow for the study of samples requiring Containment Level 3.
The Long-Wavelength Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) beamline (I23) is a unique facility dedicated to directly solving the crystallographic phase problem from native proteins. It is the first MX beamline optimised for the long-wavelength region which allows for identification and location of lighter atoms of biological relevance such as chlorine, potassium and calcium as well as assistance with low-resolution model building by locating phosphorus or sulfur atom positions. I23 is uniquely placed for researchers from the UK and worldwide community to solve structures of the most challenging targets which are not amenable to the facilities elsewhere at Diamond or other synchrotrons. After welcoming its first users in 2016, the beamline is in advanced commissioning.
The XPDF beamline (I15-1) is a side-station to the Extreme Conditions beamline (I15). The design allows both beamlines to operate concurrently. XPDF is dedicated to, and optimised for, pair distribution function measurements. The beamline is applicable to a diverse range of disciplines such as materials chemistry, solid-state physics, earth sciences and pharmaceuticals. Ultimately it provides data collection and analysis software to allow non-expert users to study the local structure of crystalline and amorphous solids, as well as liquids. A diverse set of commissioning experiments has been performed after its first users in 2016. XPDF is now open for peer-reviewed user experiments. Simultaneously the beamline is developing more advanced and diverse sample environments.
VMXi is the first beamline of its kind solely dedicated to data collection directly from crystallisation experiments in situ i.e. from crystals remaining in their crystallisation media, rather than being transferred to a sample holder and exposed to X-rays under cryogenic conditions. The beamline has the facility to store thousands of user crystallisation experiments and features an automated transfer between sample storage and the beamline, as well as highly automated data collection and analysis. VMXi welcomed its first users in late 2016 and is currently under commissioning. Once fully operational, this beamline will enable users to monitor their crystallisation experiments remotely, and request X-ray analysis without the need for their direct participation in the X-ray experiment. Equipped with an intense X-ray beam, very rapid detector and operating in a fully automated manner, VMXi will accelerate new discoveries in structural biology. This whole approach will allow for the study of crystals as they emerge and for the collection of data from all crystals, including those that are too fragile to handle and those that cannot be cryo-cooled.
At over 185 m long I14 is a scanning probe beamline that uses X-ray fluorescence and diffraction techniques to determine the structure and composition of a wide range of materials. It aims to produce X-ray beams of 30-50 nm with energies from 5-23keV. This small beam size allows for the possibility of studying micron scale samples. such as biological cells, in greater detail and also allows users to study the role of nanoparticles in a range of areas such as catalysis and the environment. The beamline issued a commissioning call in Jan 2017 and the first users were welcomed on the 16th March 2017.
I21 is a dedicated Resonant Inelastic Soft X-ray Scattering (RIXS) facility that will produce highly monochromatised, focused and tunable (250-3000 eV) X-ray beams. It is suited to investigate the electronic, magnetic and lattice dynamics of samples particularly those with magnetic and electronic interactions. The beamline is 81 m long with its end station and 15 m long RIXS spectrometer accommodated in an external building adjacent to the Diamond ring. First light in the internal and external beamline was achieved in December 2015 and September 2016 respectively. The beamline construction is almost completed with the X-ray commissioning first users expected in summer 2017.
B07 will offer X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) at ambient pressures. The beamline will offer users the ability to carry out atmospheric chemistry, catalysis, and biological investigations with samples under native conditions such as liquid environments or gas-phase reaction conditions for catalysts. The end station previously commissioned on I09, is now installed at B07. The first users on B07 are to be welcomed later in 2017. A second branch with moderate vacuum restrictions and automated sample manipulation for high throughput XPS and XAS is currently under construction.
VMXm will perform atomic structure determination for studies where crystals are difficult to obtain leading to weak diffraction. This is a common challenge for protein complexes and other biological macromolecules. The X-ray beam size on VMXm will be less than 0.5 μm and will uniquely combine electron beam microscopy with X-ray diffraction, to allow the smallest protein crystals to be aligned with the X-ray beam so results from the best regions within a sample can be obtained. VMXm can be thought of as a combination of X-ray and cryo-electron microscopy techniques, making use of methods for sample preparation from cryo-electron-microscopy, imaging from scanning electron microscopy and diffraction data collection methods from X-ray crystallography. In early 2017, the end station was installed and currently the optics are being commissioned. The first users are expected in autumn 2017.
DIAD is based on an innovative X-ray optical concept to allow the study of in situ processes with both imaging and diffraction simultaneously, enabling the user to take measurements of a live process as it evolves. Obtaining microscopic resolution, the instrument will provide the spatial and time-evolution of the structural properties of samples that undergo a range of treatments including mechanical, chemical or thermal. As a result of the unique dual beam design, DIAD is able to simultaneously obtain information from the 3D microstructure, phase composition and stress state of the material. This means that a whole range of research can be carried out within a vast variety of fields including bio-medical, material science, chemistry, geological science, biology and energy. DIAD's hutches are erected and the remainder of the beamline is under construction. This final beamline has benefited from a financial contribution from the University of Birmingham.
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