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Scientific Opportunities: Materials & Chemical Sciences

Overview | Soft Matter and Biomaterials | Advanced Materials Growth | Catalysis and Energy Science


One major thrust of life sciences research at synchrotron sources is protein crystallography, which uses x-rays to see the crystal structure of proteins and other biological molecules. Other life sciences research focuses on using x-rays to image tissue and cells, and to "watch" biological processes that occur on very short time scales, such as protein folding. The information learned from these fundamental studies is used to design drugs and treatments for disease, to predict and detect disease, and to understand the vast array of biological processes that govern life.

This porous metal-organic particle-like structure (framework is at left, microstructure at right) may be used to store hydrogen in a hydrogen fuel cell. Over 90% of the crystal volume is open space (yellow ball), allowing the hydrogen to be stored, released, and restored. NSLS-II will enable detailed studies of this type of material.

However, this important research cannot continue to advance without producing x-rays that are far brighter and more focused than those currently available at any other light source worldwide. The light available at NSLS-II will lead the world in brightness, opening up many new research pathways in the life sciences and drawing in the best biological and medical researchers.


Last Modified: May 2, 2014
Please forward all questions about this site to: Gary Schroeder