On Wednesday 27th April, the first researchers arrived on the latest experimental station to become operational at Diamond.
The group from the University of Hull are studying metal nanoparticles, which they produce by mounting metals such as gold and platinum on cellulose and cellulose acetate.
Having just seen the first set of experimental data from his group’s experiment, Dr Nigel Young, Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Hull, said:
“We were cautiously optimistic before we arrived as the samples we’re putting onto the beamline could, due to their roughness, have been a challenge in terms of data collection. I have to say the quality of the data we’ve just seen is amazing and has exceeded all our expectations.”
Dr Nigel Young, University of Hull
Nigel continues, “In science today, there is intense interest in the properties of materials with nanosized dimensions and advances in the area are already bringing new developments to society. Silver nanoparticles, for example, are now being used in wound dressings as they have an antibacterial effect on the skin. Others can act as catalysts. What we are doing with these experiments is scoping out what can be made and investigating how gold and platinum particles of varying sizes behave and interact with the cellulose or cellulose acetate. X-ray Spectroscopy is particularly useful when you have low concentrations of metal nanoparticles, which are hard to detect with X-ray diffraction. Experimenting with the concentrations may well uncover new properties and possibilities in terms of applications so having a tool like B18 here in the UK is very exciting for scientists working on nanoscale science.”
“Today has been a real triumph for everyone at Diamond. The exceptional quality of X-ray Spectroscopy data that has been achieved with this first experiment is testament to a range of things including the stability of the machine’s beam, the quality of the equipment (particularly the optics and detectors), the electronics and, most importantly, the dedication of all the teams involved in the B18 development project. This new tool for UK science will benefit researchers working in many different areas such as chemistry and materials, , physics, environmental studies, and some biological sciences. Early indications suggest that our vision for providing a world leading bending magnet beamline to these research communities is set to become reality over the coming months and years.”
Prof. Andy Dent, Diamond Light Source
For more information on Diamond’s beamlines, including B18, visit www.diamond.ac.uk/B18
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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