Materials are extremely important in all aspects of our live and modern society would look very different without e.g. steel, advanced ceramics and doped semiconductors. Materials science and engineering is an interdisciplinary field focused on characterizing the structure, properties, performance, and processing of materials.
To understand and explain the properties of a material it is often essential to know the structure of the material. It is often necessary to know to study the structure at different length scales ranging from atomic detail to microstructure to get a complete understanding of the properties.
The structure at the atomic level is the arrangement of the individual atoms. An example of a structure-property relationship is graphite and diamond, which are both made up of carbon atoms. The microscopic structure concerns e.g. the grain and pore structure of the material. The microscopic structure governs e.g. the hardness of metals and the water permeability of chalk. Another example is chocolate where the right polymorph, i.e. crystal structure, gives nice shiny surfaces and the right ‘snap’ while the wrong crystal structure give dull looking and an undesirable texture.
The goal of the DanMAX beamline is to do experiments on real material studied under realistic conditions at realistic time scales at multiple length scales. This is done by building two instruments at the beamline: One to study the atomic structure using PXRD and one to study the microstructure using imaging.
Powder X-ray diffraction
Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) is one of the most powerful ways to study the atomic structure of microcrystalline materials. Even though the experiment itself is simple the diffraction data contains a wealth of information. From PXRD data it is possible to get information about: Lattice parameters, symmetry, atomic coordinates, occupancies of the atomic positions, atomic vibration, quantitative phase analysis of crystalline mixtures, texture, domain size, micro and macro strain, and even the local atomic structure.
Due to the simplicity of the experiment it is possible to use a wide range of sample environments to study materials under realistic working conditions. This combined with the immense intensity and low divergence of the MAX IV source allows for more complex materials to be studied.
The powder X-ray diffraction instrument at DanMAX will be very versatile and can be used for studying e.g.:
- Formation and growth of nanocrystals and their structure under ambient and non-ambient conditions.
- The structure of battery materials in charging and discharging batteries.
- Identification of new hydrogen storage materials and other gas storage materials.
- Structural studies of functional magnetic materials.
- Materials performance and structure under load and processing in various environments.
- Structure and chemistry under high pressure.
- Bioinspired chemistry and biomineralization.
- Pharmaceutical science – control over polymorphs and structure solution.
- The structure and chemistry of catalysts under working conditions.
- … and much more…
Full Field Imaging