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

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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Formation of swift heavy ion tracks on a rutile TiO2 surface

Nanostructuring surfaces using swift heavy ions offers some unique possibilities due to the deposition of a large amount of energy localized within a nanoscale volume surrounding the ion trajectory. Samples irradiated with different ion fluences were investigated using atomic force microscopy and grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering. A Detailed surface description was obtained even for the case of multiple ion track overlap.

M. Karlušić et al.,J.Appl.Cryst. 49, 1704-1712 (2016).

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Self-assembly of the cephalopod protein reflectin

Cephalopods (squids, octopus, cuttlefish) stunning camouflage displays make them exciting sources of inspiration for the design of functional materials. We investigated the self-assembly, structural characteristics, and stimulus response of films from the cephalopod protein known as reflectin A1 (RfA1). RfA1 self-assembles into prolate nanoparticles in solution, which change shape both during film formation and upon application of an exogenous stimulus. We have elucidated the nanostructure of RfA1 films and obtained a rationale for their functionality.

K.L. Naughton et al. , Advanced Materials, Vol. 28-38, pp. 8405-8412 (2016).

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Hierarchical Formation Mechanism of CoFe2O4 Mesoporous Assemblies

We have combined in-situ time-resolved SAXS, TEM and XRD techniques, to study the hierarchical mechanism of CoFe2O4 spherical mesoporous magnetic assemblies formation obtained with an eco-friendly, surfactant-assisted water-based precipitation approach. We found a lamellar (L) intermediate phase providing active sites for the formation of primary ferrite nanoparticles (N1), which in turn are seeds for the formation of ....

C. Cannas et al.ACS Nano 9, 7 (2015).

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A Low Temperature Route toward Hierarchically Structured Titania Films for Thin Hybrid Solar Cells

The fabrication of dye-free hybrid solar cells at low temperatures is a promising approach to optimize current DSSC technology.

Lin Song et al. ,Adv. Funct. Mater. 26, 7084 (2016).

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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