One month ahead of schedule, Principal Beamline Scientist Chiu Tang and his team on the powder diffraction beamline welcomed their first users, a research group from the chemistry department of University College London (UCL) interested in analysing heat-treated nano-ceramics for better automotive catalyst support materials. Experienced users are helping with the commissioning phase of I11 by testing the efficiency of the beamlines high throughput sample analysis system which includes five banks of detectors (45 analyser-detectors) and an industrial robot.
The UCL group are able to produce a large number of nano-powder samples, each with a slightly different composition, using a novel high throughput synthesis method followed by a heat-treatment step. Analysis of these samples allowed them to establish stable compositions which may be of use as supports in catalytic converters (this is by effectively simulating the conditions that a car would experience after 100,000 miles on the road). Due to the large number of samples the group can produce in a day, the faster they can gain high quality X-ray powder diffraction data results, the better. Having prepared their nano-powder samples in a laboratory back at UCL, the group were able to bring them to Diamond for a quick stint of data gathering. Previously, they would have had to travel to the ESRF.
|I11 users Jawwad Darr and Geoffrey Hyett from UCL in the I11 experimental hutch|
In less than one day on I11, they successfully ran 66 nano-powder samples on the robot, which would have taken two to three months to do on a laboratory instrument. Once through commissioning and after further fine tuning, the robot on I11 will be able to run up to 200 samples in one-two days.
Commenting on the efficiency of Diamond's powder diffraction beamline Principal Investigator, Jeremy Karl Cockcroft, said:
We were delighted with the performance of the high throughput system on I11. Our experiments went very well and were successful. It is great to see it all near to being fully functional
Jeremy Karl Cockcroft, UCL
As chair of the I11 User Working Group, Jeremy Karl oversaw the design of the high throughput system on the new beamline in collaboration with scientists and engineers from Diamond.
You can find out more about Diamond's powder diffraction beamline here.
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