ALBA initiates new beamline

3Sbar (Surface Structure and Spectroscopy at 1 bar) is the name of the next ALBA beamline that will be extremely useful to provide answers to environment protection. 3Sbar is a unique instrument that will provide unprecedented insight on the understanding of fundamental processes in catalytic reactions. The project, funded by the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan within the framework of the NextGenerationEU, will enter operation in 2026.

The 3Sbar project has been chosen as ALBA 14th beamline. It will allow simultaneous photoemission experiments at 1 bar gas pressures and surface X ray diffraction. The electronic and atomic structures will be both probed during surface chemical reactions and catalytic operando reactions. The products of the reactions will also be analysed by gas phase photoemission.

This new beamline will be key to understand the correlation between chemical reactions and structural changes at atmospheric pressures, which represents a big step ahead for fundamental research in surface chemistry and catalysis. It will allow to get a deep insight in the basic processes determining the efficiencies of catalysts under industrial operating pressures.

3Sbar will be extremely useful to provide answers to environmental protection, challenges such as CO2 reduction, the wastewater treatment, development of environmentally friendly industrial catalytic processes or recycling of greenhouse gases.

The beamline, adaptable to many different sample environments, will serve a wide community of users at a national and international level, from academy and industrial worlds.

Its estimated cost is 9 million euros, which have been granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the European Recovery and Resilience Facility within the NextGenerationEU Programme. It covers the construction and staff positions needed for designing and operating this new beamline. Two new job positions are open now. The detailed design of the beamline starts now, the construction is expected to finish in 2025 and the instrument will be in operation by 2026.

Read more on the ALBA website

New techniques available at SOLARIS synchrotron

From 2022, National Synchroton Radiation Center SOLARIS provides access to two new research techniques. Access to the Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscope and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy beamline optimized for measurements in the soft and tender energy range, will be possible in the next call for proposals, in March 2022.

Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) is a method to obtain a microscopic image of the raster-scanned sample by detecting the transmission intensity of the focused X-rays. The STXM is one of the two end stations of the DEMETER beamline in NSRC SOLARIS. The operating principle of the STXM is scanning of the sample in the focus of the Fresnel zone plate, which for this device is the lens focusing X-rays. In the next step, the detector measures the intensity of the radiation passing through the sample and, on the basis of the intensity images recorded by the detector, it is possible to calculate the absorption X-ray radiation in a selected place of the tested system. The most important measurement mode in STXM is the so-called “image stack” – a series of images are collected as a function of photon energy to obtain a dataset with space (XY) and energy (E) dimensions. A local absorption spectrum can be obtained from the arbitrary region of interest at the image. It allows a detail chemical composition analysis of a measured sample. The source for the STXM end station is elliptically polarized undulator, which enables to cover the energy range from 100 to 2000 eV. The undulator allows measurements using linear, circular and elliptical polarization. Detailed information about the STXM end station you can find here:

X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy beamline – SOLABS is a bending magnet beamline dedicated to X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in the energy range from 1 keV to 15 keV. The beamline was especially designed for XAS measurements in the tender X-ray range, i.e., at the K absorption edges of important elements such as P, S, Si, Al and Mg. Besides, the energy range also includes K-edges of heavier elements up to Se, L-edges of elements up to Bi and some M-edges of elements including U, which allows investigation of a variety of highly relevant materials. Due to this straightforward concept without any optical components such as lenses or mirrors, SOLABS can be quickly aligned and easily operated.  At the beamline spectroscopic experiments in different measurement modes and with various sample environments are possible. XAS is a non-destructive, element-specific characterization method that can be applied to both crystalline and amorphous materials, liquids and samples in the gas phase. Detailed information about the SOLABS beamline and the features of its end station can be found here:

Agnieszka Cudek

The Head of Communication, SOLARIS National Synchrotron Radiation Centre

To apply for beamtime, please visit the SOLARIS website

Installation of SESAME’s HESEB soft X-ray beamline starts

From 9th to 27th January, a team from the German company FMB Feinwerk- und Meßtechnik GmbH in Berlin that was awarded the contract for construction of HESEB, the Helmholtz-SESAME Beamline for soft X-ray spectroscopy, together with SESAME’s team, installed the complete front-end and optics of the beamline at the ID 11 port of the SESAME ring.

In 2019, five research centers of the German Helmholtz Association, DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron), FZJ (Forschungszentrum Jülich), HZB (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin), HZDR (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf), and KIT (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie), joined forces to implement a new, state-of-the-art soft X-ray beamline at SESAME. The HESEB project is being generously funded to the order of 3.5 M€ by the Initiative & Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association.

The source will be a refurbished BESSY-II UE56 APPLE-II undulator provided by HZB.

HESEB will be the first soft X-ray beamline at SESAME and will significantly expand the research capabilities available to the user community in the Middle East and neighbouring regions. The undulator’s ability to provide linearly to circularly polarized light makes the beamline very suitable for materials science applications, especially magnetic materials. Its plane grating monochromator uses exchangeable gratings to cover a photon energy range from 70 eV to 2000 eV.

Image: The HESEB project team during installation at SESAME of the front-end and optics of the beamline

Credit: © SESAME 2022

Read more on the SESAME website and see a time-lapse video of the HESEB installation below: 

PHELIX beamline is ready to research

Synchrotron light has finally been observed for the first time on a sample at the end station of the experimental beamline PHELIX. This success is the crowning achievement of three years of hard work designing, constructing, fitting, and tuning its components to the synchrotron beam.   

The installation of this new beamline began in mid-2018. In March of 2020, the final elements were delivered. Then on 18th September 2020, the scientific supervisors of beamline, Dr. Magdalena Szczepanik – Ciba and Tomasz Sobol, announced readiness for test experiments using the synchrotron beam.  

The first results testing the capabilities with the active beam of the analyser at the PHELIX end station were performed using the sample of gold in the presence of a specialist from the SPECS company, Dr. Robert Reichelt. As  a result of testing this calibration material, among others, the XPS Au4f spectrum was acquired (see pic.1). Additionally, an angle – resolved and spin – resolved measurements were performed .

During the latest open call for the beamtime the applications on the PHELIX beamline where included for the first time. This line will use soft X-ray radiation. The end-station will enable a wide range of spectroscopic and absorption researches, characterised by different surface sensitivity. Besides acquiring standard, high-resolution spectra, it will allow e.g. for the mapping of band structure in three dimensions and for the detection of spin in three dimensions.  

Users will thus be able to conduct research on new materials, thin films, and multi-layer systems, catalysers and biomaterials, as well as research on solids, on spin-polarised surface states, and on chemical reactions taking place on the surface.

Read more on the SOLARIS website

Image:  From left Tomasz Sobol, Dr. Robert Reichelt, Dr. Magdalena Szczepanik – Ciba. Credit – Solaris