A toothy temporal map of Arctic climate change

In the vast, remoteness of the Arctic, few have the opportunity to gather data on the environmental conditions over time or decipher the long-term effects of climate change. What is required? A considerable period to observe, a nearly autonomous method or actor for collection, a robust character to withstand the harsh surroundings. Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark are tackling this issue through an interdisciplinary NordForsk project. At DanMAX beamline, the group will analyse a narwhal tusk to determine its chemical composition and biomineralization, both important potential markers of the changing environment.

Amorphous atomic structure of tungsten oxide detected at DanMAX

The relationship between atomic structure and size is crucial knowledge in the effort to improve nanomaterials properties. Amorphous atomic structure was revealed in research done at DanMAX beamline of otherwise crystalline tungsten oxide nanoparticles due to the change of the nanoparticles size. This understanding is crucial for developing materials for, among others, catalysis, batteries, solar cells, memory storage, medicine, etc.

A fuel conversion process akin to photosynthesis

Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden are developing a promising new method to selectively convert carbon dioxide and water to various types of fuel. Driving this reaction is solar energy. The recent study, published in ACS Nano, combines the material graphene and the semiconductor cubic silicon carbide in a process which essentially mimics photosynthesis in plants.

Oxygen cycling reveals path to next-gen ferroelectric devices

Research is heating up to achieve greater fundamental understanding of the mechanism of ferroelectricity in hafnia-based materials, a crucial step in the development of next generation devices. New findings from the University of Groningen (RUG) in the journal Science define the key role of oxygen for greater miniaturization potential and structural stability beyond that of standard ferroelectric materials used in low-power memories. Electron microscopy and MAX IV’s NanoMAX beamline have illuminated the nature of polarization in thin films of hafnium zirconium oxide for ferroelectronics.

Tackling SARS CoV-2 viral genome replication machinery using X-rays

An international collaboration between the UCL School of Pharmacy, the Lund Protein Production Platform (LP3) and ESS, through its DEMAX platform, have performed biophysical and structural studies of three non-structural proteins from the novel coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. In the spring of 2020, they managed to solve and started to analyse one of these proteins, Nsp10, by using the BioMAX beamline at MAX IV Laboratory. Early October published their results in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Clues to block replication of SARS-CoV-2 found with FragMAX platform

An international collaboration of scientists identified four fragments that interact with the nsp10 protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using the FragMAX platform and BioMAX beamline. The fragments could be used to develop inhibitors that supplant key enzymes activated by the protein—an application which holds potential to block the viral replication process.

Riverine iron survives salty exit to sea

Iron organic complexes in Sweden’s boreal rivers significantly contribute to increased iron concentration in open marine waters, X-ray spectroscopy data shows. A Lund University study in Biogeosciences characterizes the role of salinity for iron-loading in estuarine zones, a factor which underpins intensifying seasonal algal blooms in the Baltic Sea.

Salts of the Earth aid understanding of Martian salt chemistry

How does one learn more about the characteristics of the Martian atmospheric chemistry and climate system while seated 56 million plus kilometres away? Using MAX IV’s HIPPIE beamline, an international research group studied the surface solvation of salts from Earth’s Qaidam Basin, which bear close resemblance to Martian salts and how these influence the respective planet’s surface. The work also establishes the feasibility of the APXPS technique for future studies with Martian salts.