The X-ray Powder Diffraction beamline team at NSLS-II
Why does a packet of electrons whizzing around a half-mile ring at nearly the speed of light need a state-of-the-art mirror? It’s not to check its hair, that’s for sure. The mirror will help deliver more of the high-energy x-rays flung off those speedy electrons to a sample awaiting imaging at the X-ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline.
More than four-and-a-half feet long and polished so precisely that the difference in levelness from one end to the other is just one 50,000 of a degree, it’s the largest mirror in the world to achieve such flatness over its entire length. It had to be as long as manufacturing techniques would allow to maintain its ultimate flatness because the high energy x-rays produced at NSLS-II will need to reflect off the mirror at an incredibly low angle to catch maximum x-rays from the source.
The combination of optics will allow for high-resolution, high-speed, and high-energy x-ray diffraction studies. The x-rays will be well-suited for research in real-time detection of catalysis in progress which could lead to new fuel cells and better understanding of the process of chemical absorption of carbon-dioxide and into the inner workings of batteries. A robotic sample handler will aid in handling irradiated samples from nuclear reactors. The highly penetrating, less damaging x-rays from this beamline will also be suitable for biological specimens.
2013-4301 INT/EXT | Media & Communications Office
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