Diamond is a growing facility undergoing an active contruction and commissioning programme. New instruments are currently under construction and this will in turn mean that in due course an even wider range of techniques will be available for use.
Here we give you a brief introduction to some of the upcoming beamlines and technques that will be available at Diamond in the future.
The Hard X-ray nanoprobe beamline is a dedicated facility for micro-nano SAXS and nanoscale microscopy and has just taken its first users.
The beamline will serve 2 end-stations. One will be a nanoprobe for which the design priority will be to achieve the smallest possible focus, with a development goal of 10 nm and initial aim of 30 nm. The optical design will be optimised for scanning X-ray fluorescence, X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction. The other station will be optimised to carry out small and wide angle X-ray scattering studies as well as scanning fluorescence mapping with a variable focus beam in the range 5µm – 100 nm. To maximise the distance from the focusing optic to the sample, the beamline will extend beyond the main building to a distance of approximately 175m.
I14 will provide a state of the art facility in which a focused x-ray spot is positioned or scanned over a specimen. The central theme of the beamline is the ability to obtain structural and chemically-specific information on a full range of materials (inorganic/organic) under both static and real (e.g. wet, heated, in-situ strain) conditions, providing a facility that will be new to the UK.
The long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography beamline I23 will be a unique facility for solving the crystallographic phase problem, using the small anomalous signals from sulphur or phosphorous which are present in native protein or RNA/DNA crystals. This will be of increased importance for projects where protein labelling to introduce anomalous scatterers is not feasible. In addition, the beamline's wavelength range will provide access to the M-edges of elements, with huge anomalous signals offering new opportunities for phasing large molecular complexes.
I23 will complement the existing suite of five MX beamlines at Diamond and will be optimised for operation in the wavelength range from 1.5 to 4 Å. The experimental end station will be in vacuum to minimize absorption and scattering effects. A large semi-cylindrical detector will allow measurements of a large range of diffraction angles and a multi-axis goniometer will be available for crystal alignment and orientation. An X-ray tomography setup will be integrated into the beamline end station to obtain the crystal shape and volume as a basis of an analytical absorption correction.
The scientific aims outlined in the proposal for the VERSOX beamline are very diverse and include studies of heterogeneous catalysts, pharmaceuticals and biomaterials under realistic conditions, environmental and space science studies on liquids and ices, heritage conservation, and the study of electronic and photonic materials.
A common feature to all proposed studies is an interest in the chemical nature and composition of the near-surface regions of the samples, which are to be characterized using soft X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (NEXAFS/XANES). They also have in common that they do not need extreme energy resolution or photon flux (in fact, many of the samples are extremely beam-sensitive), however they require non-standard sample environments and detection techniques, which are not usually found or possible at standard soft X-ray beamlines of 3rd generation synchrotron sources.
VERSOX is currently under construction.
I21 will be a dedicated Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS) beamline that will provide a highly monochromatised, focused and tunable X-ray beam onto materials, while detecting and energy-analysing scattered X-rays using a spatially-resolved two-dimensional detector.
The primary research activity of the beamline will be related to condensed matter physics and material science, in particular strongly-correlated electron systems and new functional materials such as Mott insulators, high-temperature superconductors, thin film oxides, catalysts, graphene, etc. Moreover, the technique has enormous potential for a wide range of applications in chemistry, geology and biology.
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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