Research opportunities and perspectives using synchrotron and FEL radiation

by Dr Maya Kiskinova (Elettra Sincrotrone, Trieste, Italy)


Large scale synchrotron and free electron laser (FEL) facilities are the cradle of multidisciplinary research, spanning over physics, chemistry, material science and engineering to environment, biology, medicine, archeology, heritage etc. The versatile experimental stations provide access to most of the techniques based on the photon interactions with matter: (i) photon-in/electron-out spectroscopy (PES, ARPES and XAS), including spectro-microscopy and chemical or magnetic imaging; (ii) photon-in/photon-out spectroscopies (XAS, XRF, IUVS, Raman and IR), including microscopy, and ptychography; (iii) X-ray diffraction and scattering (XRD, XRR, SAXS-GISAXS-WAXS, XPCS, CDI). Along with tunable wavelength and polarization the key parameters that determine energy, spatial and time resolution of the experiments are photon brightness, degree of transverse coherence and electron bunch (pulse) length. The ongoing upgrades of the storage rings and the growing number of FELs are opening exciting opportunities for “watching” how matter behaves at ultra-short fs time scales and also to the level of nano-units, atoms and molecules.

Using selected exemplary systems the talk will address the most recent achievements in basic and applied research in various fields of material and life sciences. The emphasis will be on the potentials of modern x-ray microscopes based on detecting and filtering emitted electrons, transmitted, emitted or scattered photons and on-going efforts for expanding in-operando potentials. The unprecedented opportunity for exploiting ultrafast dynamics with chemical sensitivity will be illustrated by selected recent results obtained using single and multicolor FEL light.


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