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Diffraction and In situ Scattering

Characterizing and modeling the growth and structure of complex and functional materials under in-situ and operando conditions

Contact:Eric Dooryhee, Program Manager(631) 344-2409

The Diffraction and In situ Scattering Program at Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) offers world-class capabilities for studying the complex and heterogeneous materials under in situ and operando conditions. The program provides specialized diffraction and scattering tools in the soft, tender, and hard x-ray energy range. These techniques can be combined with imaging for bulk and surfaces studies.

The program’s scientific focus is the structural characterization of complex materials such as atomic structures and assemblies, as well as electronic and orbital ordering.

Program Beamlines

28-ID-1 PDF

Pair Distribution Function

The Pair Distribution Function (PDF) beamline offers a powerful technique for studying local structural fluctuations in complex materials. Researchers can study unique optical, electronic, magnetic, and chemical properties of quantum dots or nanoparticles composed of a few thousand atoms. In situ measurements during synthesis provide structural insights into how materials grow from precursor nuclei or molecules into bulk samples. For example, time-resolved measurements can be used to track structural transformations inside batteries and fuel cells.

28-ID-2 XPD

X-ray Powder Diffraction

The X-ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline is optimized for investigating the atomic structure of complex bulk samples and buried interfaces, as well as the inside of cells or devices through noninvasive techniques. Fast data collection rates are combined with a large variety of sample environments to provide an ideal tool for studying materials under conditions far from equilibrium. XPD serves scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, earth science, engineering, and basic and applied sciences.


Integrated In situ and Resonant Hard X-ray Studies

The Integrated In situ and Resonant Hard X-ray Studies (ISR) beamline offers dedicated x-ray diffraction and scattering tools for investigating the physics of novel materials, and its scientific scope covers three areas: novel ordering phenomena, atomic structure of functional surfaces and interfaces, and growth and materials processes. ISR provides a flexible range of sample environments and will soon provide full control of the photon beam polarization.


High Energy X-ray Diffraction

The High Energy X-ray Diffraction (HEX) beamline will be a powerful and versatile tool to advance energy storage and conversion research, such as battery development and materials engineering. It will combine x-ray diffraction and imaging tools with a monochromatic or white beam to enable the study of real atomic structures under working conditions and in real time. HEX will help design materials for new energy storage systems and is supported by New York State.

Our Partners

columbia university logo

NSLS-II partners with Columbia University to develop and build software for instrument control, data acquisition and online visualization and processing as well as new capabilities for the XPD and PDF beamlines. This partnership also includes support for the high-energy science user community at both beamlines.

NSUF logo

NSLS-II partners with the National Scientific User Facility (NSUF) to develop and operate XRD/PDF CT-tomography equipment at the XPD beamline.

Stony Brook University logo

NSLS-II partners with the Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences (COMPRES) and the Mineral Physics Institute at Stony Brook University to develop high pressure, high temperature capabilities for the XPD beamline that will advance the studies of materials under extreme conditions.

Partner logos

NSLS-II partners with the "Consortium for Real-Time Studies of Thin Film Growth and Surface Processing", co-led by the University of Vermont, Boston University, and Stony Brook University, to provide instrumentation, training, and user support for the ISR beamline.

Beamline lead scientist Christie Nelson works with a diffractometer located at beamline 4-ID. The diffractometer allows imaging of a material's structure by measuring how highly focused x-rays diffract, or bounce off. The instrument offers researchers high precision when studying materials with unique structural, electronic, and magnetic characteristics. The instrument offers researchers high precision when studying materials with unique structural, electronic, and magnetic characteristics.

In order to deliver more of the X-ray light flung off by electrons to a sample, the XPD beamline at NSLS-II incorporates a mirror more than four-and-a-half feet long. It is polished so precisely that the difference in levelness from one end to the other is just one 50,000th of a degree.

Brookhaven Lab physicists change a sample at the diffractometer at NSLS-II’s X-ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline. The team used an approach called atomic pair distribution function analysis to interpret the resulting x-ray scattering data and infer the sample's atomic structure.

 This diffractometer at the Integrated In Situ and Resonant Hard X-ray Studies (ISR) beamline allows researchers to “see” the structure of a material by shooting highly focused x-rays at the sample and measuring how they diffract, or bounce off. The instrument also has two detectors. While one allows users to quickly survey the overall structure of a sample, the other gives a zoomed-in view of the material’s subtler details.