This theoretical research predics a new X-ray generation method based on confined plasmons in graphene. The concept is unique and it would be a highly advantageous method, since low-energy electrons can be used to produce tunable X-rays. In all the current approaches high-energy charged particles are needed (synchrotrons, free-electron lasers), which requires large device sizes and intensities.
Scientists at the European XFEL will watch the interplay of molecules with the instrument FXE, allowing stunning insight in the electronic forces driving the world of chemistry.
Mikko Hakala's insight:
Chemical reactions take place in femtoseconds (10^-15 s). Traditionally one just analyses the initial and final products of a reaction, but new instruments like X-ray free electron lasers start to enable following the actual development of the geometries and electronic states.
A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of superconductivity—the ability to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency—in a promising copper-oxide material.
Mikko Hakala's insight:
X-ray studies bring insight into developing room-temperature superconductors. This laser pump - x-ray probe experiment showed that the appearance of superconductivity is not related to lattice distortions (the distortions persist longer than the melting of charge stripes, i.e. the point where superconductivity emerges).
The findings are relevant for understanding generally the mechanism of superconductivity in layered copper oxide materials, and in the new field of light-induced superconductivity.
The experimental x-ray method used was resonant soft x-ray diffraction.
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is a most powerful X-ray machine in Europe, supported and shared by 20 countries. See http://www.esrf.eu/
ESRF is going through a major upgrade. This BBC article by @BBCAmos (via @tmertzi) tells some essential information what this means to ESRF. See how much more radiation will be obtained, how much will the upgrade cost and the timetables.
How synchrotron X-rays are generated and how research is done with them? Here is one recent video from a canadian synchrotron explaining basic operation:
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