Austrian SAXS beamline at Elettra

Small Angle X-ray Scattering is a non-destructive and highly versatile standard method to study the nanoscale structure of any type of material ranging from new composite nanosystems to biological macromolecules. Parameters as (i) averaged particle sizes, shapes and distributions, (ii) the materials' porosity and degree of crystallinity as well as (iii) electron density maps with nanometer precision can be obtained. Materials can be solid, liquid or even exhibit gaseous-like properties as for instance aerosols.

The highflux SAXS beamline at Elettra has been built by the Institute of Biophysics and Nanosystems Research (IBN), Austrian Academy of Sciences, and is in user operation since September 1996. On 1st October 2012 the beamline was transfered from the IBN to the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of Graz University of Technology.
The beamline was mainly intended for time-resolved studies on fast structural transitions in the sub-millisecond time region in solutions and partly ordered systems with a SAXS-resolution of at least 100 nm in real-space. But increasingly also grazing-incidence (GISAXS) measure- ments are performed to study self-assembly processes on surfaces, or to perform structural characterisations of thin films. Additionally SAXS measurements can be coupled to simultaneous Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS) recordings. Users have the possibility to use our various sample holders (e.g., rapid mixing; T-jump; pressure cell), or to install their own specialized sample equipment.

Research Highlights        Annual Reports         Publication List

Structure and morphology of magnetron sputtered W films

The structural and morphological details of magnetron sputtered tungsten (W) thin films as a function of the Ar working gas pressure and the sputtering power are presented. The crystal structure of the W films was examined with grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXRD), while the morphology characterization was performed by x-ray reflectivity (XRR) and grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS).

K. Salamon et al.,J. Phys. D 46 (2013) 095304 (10 pages).

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Growth of LTA zeolite nanoclusters using a block copolymer template

Employment of highly branched copolymer micelles as core substrate to control the soft interactions at the boundary between organic and inorganic domains provides a steric stabilization that enhances the colloidal stability during LTA zeolite formation. Our results are important for optimizing porous materials production.

L. Bonaccorsi et al. ,Langmuir 29, 7079 (2013).

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Growth of anisotropic Ge quantum dot lattices in alumina matrix

An anisotropic lattice of Ge QDs embedded in amorphous alumina was produced by magnetron sputtering deposition. The material shows a strong anisotropy of the electrical conductivity in different directions || to the sample surface.

M. Buljan et al. ,J. Appl. Cryst. 46, 709-715 (2013).

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Nanomaterial coatings: controlling and analyzing thin films of lipid cubic phase

We have studied new forms of a nanomaterial known as a LCP (Lipid Cubic Phase), preparing them as thin films rather than the bulk gels or liquids typically used.

M. Rittman et al. ,Langmuir 29, 9874-9880 (2013).

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Investigation of the thermal stability of nanoimprinted comb structures in a conjugated polymer and their application in hybrid solar cells

Comb-shaped nanostructures were prepared in a low band gap polymer using nanoimprint lithography (NIL) and their thermal stability was investigated using time resolved GISAXS.

S. Dunst et al. , ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6, 7633 (2014).

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Response of the wurzite GaN surface to swift heavy ion irradiation

Ion tracks on wurzite GaN surface were investigated after exposure to grazing incidence swift heavy ion (SHI) beams. Structural investigations by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) were complemented by monitoring stoichiometry changes using in situ time-of-flight elastic recoil detection analysis (TOF-ERDA).

M. Karlušić et al.,J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 48 , 325304 (2015).

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Polymer/Nanocrystal Hybrid Solar Cells: Influence of Molecular Precursor Design on Film Nanomorphology, Charge Generation and Device Performance

The morphological and optoelectronic properties of polymer/nanocrystal hybrid (pnh) solar absorber layers can be significantly influenced by small modifications of the chemical structures of the precursor molecules. Pnh solar cells are an interesting concept due to the incorporation of the attractive qualities of both organic and inorganic materials.
A. J. MacLachlan et al. ,Adv. Funct. Mater. 25, 409 (2015).

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In operando morphology investigation of inverted bulk heterojunction organic solar cells by GISAXS

The correlation between morphology of the active layer and device performance of inverted polymer solar cells during continuous operation under illumination is revealed by in operando grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) and current−voltage (J-V) measurements. Consequently, ...

A. Wang et al. ,J. Mater. Chem. A 3, 8324 (2015).

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A Closer Look into 2-Step Perovskite Conversion with X-Ray Scattering

The morphology of the hybrid perovskite material CH3NH3PbI3-xClx was investigated using simultaneous GISAXS and GIWAXS. The conclusions on the crystallization mechanism helped to improve recently developed hybrid perovskite solar cells’ performance.

J. Schlipf et al. , J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6 (7), 1265 (2015).

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Effect of Additives on the Morphology of PCPDTBT:PC71BM Thin Films for Organic Photovoltaics

One very successful way to realize polymer based organic solar cells makes use of a thin organic blend film consisting of a semi-conducting polymer and a fullerene derivative. These films allow not only for efficient large-scale application via printing or spraying techniques on flexible substrates but also allow for manufacturing semitransparent devices.

Ch.J.. Schaffer et al. , ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7 (38), 21347-21355 (2015).

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Due to the highly variable kept sample stage, there are nearly no limits for the realization of an experiment, and you are welcome by our team to propose any interesting and high-lighting investigation for the benefit of materials and life sciences.

User Area

Proposal Submission

We invite users and collaborators to discuss their proposals with the beamline local contacts well in advance before the submission deadline. This is crucial for a careful assessment of the experiment feasibility and may lead to improvements in the proposed experimental plan. For more info, please visit the user info section.

The deadline for proposal submission for beamtime allocation from January 1st to June 30th, 2017, will be Tuesday, September 15th, 2016 at 4:30 pm (MET).  
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 14:09