The optics on Diamond beamlines are required to deliver the brightness from the electron beam source to the sample. This places high demands on individual optical elements in the beamlines. Once installed on a beamline it is difficult to characterise the operation of the individual optical elements. The Test beamline will allow measurements to be made on critical optical components in order to understand their operation, diagnose problems and develop more advanced optics.
The second area of relevance to this beamline is the testing and evaluation of detectors, and the development of new detector technologies – an area where the UK plays a leading role. Detectors are integral part of any experimental system and widely vary in their specifications and applications. Examples are imaging detectors, high count rate detectors, very low count rate detectors (e.g. for space applications) or fast detectors (e.g. for laser produced plasmas). Mapping out the detailed response of detectors for x-ray astronomy is another important application.
There is much in common between detectors used in different disciplines for different particles (detection of ions, electrons, UV, x-rays) and there are similar driving forces, such as the need for parallel detection, increase in resolving power, dynamic range, uniformity, linearity, robustness etc. as well as decrease in power consumption, size and weight. Detector research for different disciplines is also underpinned by similar enabling technologies such as silicon technology, interconnect, packaging, and advances in these technologies tend to influence all areas of detector research. Therefore the benefits derived from the beamline are not restricted to synchrotron work.
The beamline can also be used for testing and calibration of beam monitors, investigating dead time with pulsed sources and calibrating detectors with absolute x-ray fluxes.
An important use of the Test beamline is the development of novel experiments and techniques. There may be unusual experiments requiring development or experiments needing unusual experimental layouts. Some examples are timing experiments, metrology type experiments (X-LTP for instance), diffraction enhanced imaging and other imaging techniques, white beam experiments, e.g. Laue diffraction etc, coherence experiments and X-ray interferometry. Technique development is an important scientific activity and this beamline can be a vehicle for this development in terms of science and training.
Providing additional experimental facilities
While Diamond beamlines are being developed and constructed, the Test beamline will allow a variety of experiments not catered for on other beamlines to be performed. For example, the Test beamline could be used for reflectivity measurements (in focused mode), powder diffraction (in white beam or monochromatic focused mode), strain scanning experiments at high X-ray energy (monochromatic or white beam), surface diffraction experiments, topography (white beam or monochromatic beam), imaging experiments such as coherent imaging, diffraction enhanced imaging, X-rays standing wave experiments. The easy tunability of the energy on the station will make the station ideal for performing resonant diffraction experiments such as Diffraction Anomalous Fine Structure (DAFS) and anomalous scattering experiments.