PRISMAS PhD Programme: Third Call for PRISMAS PhD Applications

We are excited to announce the PRISMAS PhD Programme successfully held its first annual meeting on June 10-11, 2024. This event was the perfect occasion for our students to network, present innovative techniques to be used in their projects, and discuss their work with PIs and distinguished guests. The meeting fostered collaboration and the exchange of ideas, reinforcing the programme’s commitment to developing leading synchrotron experts.

The dawning of new interpretation for RIXS spectra

In a recent study at Veritas beamline, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden observed parity-forbidden transitions to electronic states in an oxygen molecule due to interference analogous to Young’s double split experiment (YDSE). The findings, published in Science Advances, may change the way spectral data is interpreted for RIXS experiments and refine the conventional wisdom in synchrotron science for the interplay of photons with the dynamics of atomic nuclei in molecules.

xrdPlanner: a new, versatile beamtime planner

Planning and preparing for a beamtime experiment at synchrotron facilities can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for first-time users and students with no previous experience. The team at DanMAX, MAX IV, developed xrdPlanner, an open-source software package to aid the preparation of powder X-ray diffraction and total scattering experiments at synchrotron light sources.

Gut bacteria and atomic structure tell the story of universal blood

In clinical practice it is well established that type O blood, which lacks A and B antigens on the red blood cells, can be safely used in universal blood transfusions for any ABO blood group. Serious or even fatal immune reactions may occur if one receives incompatible blood from a donor. How might we mitigate the risks for low donor supply or unusable blood in emergencies? Research groups from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Lund University now report in Nature Microbiology, an enzymatic conversion method to create ABO-universal blood, a major leap towards human blood that could potentially enable live-saving blood donations to anyone, without negative immune response or the need for matched donor-recipient blood types. Data for the structural determination of key enzymes used in conversion of the ABO-universal blood was collected at MAX IV’s BioMAX beamline.

Excellent progress noted in the first MAX IV operation review 

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR), which funds most of MAX IV operations, performed their first operation review on 7–8 May 2024. The six previous reviews by the council since 2018 have been project reviews of a facility under construction. This review was the first of the facility in full operation. On 20 May, the Panel briefed

Interim Science Director Joachim Schnadt begins at MAX IV

On March 20th, Professor Joachim “Achim” Schnadt joined MAX IV as the interim Science Director in a newly formed role following the reorganisation of the MAX IV Science Division. Joachim comes to MAX IV as the former Head of the Department of Physics at Lund University. He has extensive experience working at MAX-lab during many years, as a synchrotron user, and with instrumentation development.

Nano-focused X-rays aid integrated circuit development

A modern chip contains billions of transistors. The size of individual features is just a couple of tens of nanometres. With decreasing size follows increased demands on material control and characterisation down to the atomic scale. The nano-focused X-ray beam at beamline NanoMAX prove to be a useful tool for investigating electromigration, a significant cause of failure in on-chip interconnects.

Ionic liquids key to sustainable energy storage

High-capacity energy storage systems are an important part of the renewable energy transition and can be realised using RTILs, room temperature ionic liquids, as electrolytes.
A research team from University of Tartu, Estonia, recently used beamline FlexPES to study the stability of RTILs for such applications.

A unifying theory of superconductivity: Finding common symmetry

A global goal of physics is greater knowledge of the mechanism of superconductivity. A research group from China and the United Kingdom recently reported in Nature Physics the pairing symmetry of iron-based superconductor KFe2As2, which contains only hole pockets on the fermi surface. The result, which includes measurements at BLOCH beamline, brings science closer to a unified theory of unconventional superconductivity for iron-based materials.