Nanoscience for clean water at ForMAX supported by ReMade@ARI

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Alejandro Cortés Villena and Alessandro Ciccone from Institute of Molecular Science in Valencia are using the ForMAX beamline as part of their research supported by ReMade@ARI, a collaboration project focusing on Circular Economy. They are studying carbon-based nanomaterials that are going to be used for enabling cleaning of contaminants in water with the help of sunlight through photocatalysis.

“The particles are synthesised in a new way that is fast and simple without chemicals that would be hazardous to the environment. They could potentially be made from biomass in the future as part of the Circular Economy. They are bio-compatible and can be recovered and re-used after the water has been cleaned,” says Alejandro and Alessandro.

ReMade@ARI has a postdoc support programme called the Smart Science Cluster, and Alejandro and Alessandro have received a lot of valuable help, particularly from two postdocs, Yi Zhang, based at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source in the UK and Santiago Fernandez Bordin, based at MAX IV.

“We were not very familiar with the small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering type of measurements that we were going to be conducting here at MAX IV. But we have been thoroughly prepared by having lots of meetings with Yi, who has been very available and always comes with lots of ideas. At MAX IV, we have participated in training on both software and how the beamline works, led by Santiago and Kim (Nygård), who is the beamline specialist contact. It has been very valuable, and next time we will be able to be more independent,” they explained.

The analysis of data from the small-angle/wide-angle X-ray scattering measurements also takes training.

“You see, there is just this line and, in the beginning, it looks like nothing but it actually contains a lot of information,” says Alessandro.

“The team is very supportive and highly trained in the methods offered at the beamline, which is important when the experiment gets challenging. The beamline itself is new and offers excellent measurement conditions,” they concluded.