Diamond Light Source, the UK's world-class synchrotron facility, has welcomed the first users to its new Test beamline. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, have used the Diamond synchrotron to take a closer look at industrial diamonds as a means to test their latest collimator technology.
The team from Royal Holloway are interested in developing high-resolution X-ray diffraction techniques to map crystal imperfections in materials of industrial importance, using both characteristic and synchrotron X-rays. One of the researchers, Professor Moreton Moore, has spent a large part of his career studying imperfections in industrial diamonds. Therefore these synthetic crystals were the ideal candidates to place under the scanning X-ray microscope, which uses collimator technology, designed by Professor Victor Petrashov and fabricated by Dr Rais Shaikhaidarov.
Industrial diamonds often contain tiny inclusions of metal, deposited during the synthesis process, which could potentially cause strain and lead to failure. The team were able to separate out the elements within the metal by illuminating the diamond sample with hard X-rays channelled through their custom-made microscope. By knowing which elements the metal contains, they are able to help work towards producing better industrial diamonds without metal inclusions.
"The technologies that we're working on will open up a new kind of microscopy enabling us to use hard X-rays to look at a variety of samples, such as metals and minerals, and including insulators, without the need for a vacuum. Testing this equipment was required and using Diamond to study diamond to do so has been great. The Test beamline has enabled us to use our scanning X-ray microscope as it would be used in practice to figure out where improvements need to be made."
Professor Moore, Royal Holloway
Diamond's Test beamline, also known as B16, can be used for in-house testing of optical components and by external users, both academic and industrial, for exploratory experiments in new research areas. Operating over a wide photon energy range (4 - 20 keV), it is a flexible and versatile beamline with applications in X-ray diffraction, X-ray reflectivity, topography and imaging.
"B16 is extremely important to the success of the other beamlines at Diamond. It enables us to push our capabilities and advance the technology that is available to users, without interrupting the schedule of the other beamlines, ultimately resulting in better, cutting-edge science. Now that B16 is up and running, researchers will be able to come to Diamond to put their new technologies to the test for the future benefit of the scientists using synchrotrons." says Dr Kawal Sawhney, Principal Beamline Scientist.
If you would like to find out more or you are interested in using Diamond's new Test beamline, please contact Dr Kawal Sawhney on 01235 778169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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