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Preview: Journal of Synchrotron Radiation

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation

Synchrotron radiation research is rapidly expanding with many new sources of radiation being created globally. Synchrotron radiation plays a leading role in pure science and in emerging technologies. The Journal of Synchrotron Radiation provides comprehen

Published: 2017-03-24


Caltrop particles synthesized by photochemical reaction induced by X-ray radiolysis


X-ray radiolysis of a Cu(CH3COO)2 solution was observed to produce caltrop-shaped particles of cupric oxide (CuO, Cu2O), which were characterized using high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectrometry. X-ray irradiation from a synchrotron source drove the room-temperature synthesis of submicrometer- and micrometer-scale cupric oxide caltrop particles from an aqueous Cu(CH3COO)2 solution spiked with ethanol. The size of the caltrop particles depended on the ratio of ethanol in the stock solution and the surface of the substrate. The results indicated that there were several synthetic routes to obtain caltrop particles, each associated with electron donation. The technique of X-ray irradiation enables the rapid synthesis of caltrop cupric oxide particles compared with conventional synthetic methods.

Development of optical choppers for time-resolved measurements at soft X-ray synchrotron radiation beamlines


Two types of optical choppers for time-resolved measurements at synchrotron radiation soft X-ray beamlines have been developed. One type uses an air-spindle-type rotation mechanism with a two-stage differential pumping system to maintain the ultra-high vacuum of the X-ray beamline, and the other uses a magnetic bearing. Both can be installed at the soft X-ray beamlines at SPring-8, greatly improving the accessibility of pump-and-probe spectroscopy. The combination of X-ray chopper and pump-and-probe photoemission electron microscope at SPring-8 provides drastic improvements in signal-to-noise ratio and resolution compared with techniques using high-voltage gating of channel plate detectors. The choppers have the capability to be used not only at synchrotron radiation facilities but also at other types of soft X-ray and VUV beamlines.

Advances in testing the effect of acceleration on time dilation using a synchrotron Mössbauer source


New results, additional techniques and know-how acquired, developed and employed in a recent HC-1898 experiment at the Nuclear Resonance Beamline ID18 of ESRF are presented, in the quest to explore the acceleration effect on time dilation. Using the specially modified Synchrotron Mössbauer Source and KB-optics together with a rotating single-line semicircular Mössbauer absorber on the rim of a specially designed rotating disk, the aim was to measure the relative spectral shift between the spectra of two states when the acceleration of the absorber is anti-parallel and parallel to the source. A control system was used for the first time and a method to quantify the effects of non-random vibrations on the spectral shift was developed. For several runs where the effect of these vibrations was negligible, a stable statistically significant non-zero relative shift was observed. This suggests the influence of acceleration on time.

Respiratory-gated KES imaging of a rat model of acute lung injury at the Canadian Light Source


In this study, contrast-enhanced X-ray tomographic imaging for monitoring and quantifying respiratory disease in preclinical rodent models is proposed. A K-edge imaging method has been developed at the Canadian Light Source to very accurately obtain measurements of the concentration of iodinated contrast agent in the pulmonary vasculature and inhaled xenon in the airspaces of rats. To compare the iodine and xenon concentration maps, a scout projection image was acquired to define the region of interest within the thorax for imaging and to ensure the same locations were imaged in each K-edge subtraction (KES) acquisition. A method for triggering image acquisition based on the real-time measurements of respiration was also developed to obtain images during end expiration when the lungs are stationary, in contrast to other previously published studies that alter the respiration to accommodate the image acquisition. In this study, images were obtained in mechanically ventilated animals using physiological parameters at the iodine K-edge in vivo and at the xenon K-edge post mortem (but still under mechanical ventilation). The imaging techniques were performed in healthy Brown Norway rats and in age-matched littermates that had an induced lung injury to demonstrate feasibility of the imaging procedures and the ability to correlate the lung injury and the quantitative measurements of contrast agent concentrations between the two KES images. The respiratory-gated KES imaging protocol can be easily adapted to image during any respiratory phase and is feasible for imaging disease models with compromised lung function.

Development of picosecond time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy by high-repetition-rate laser pump/X-ray probe at Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility


A new setup and commissioning of transient X-ray absorption spectroscopy are described, based on the high-repetition-rate laser pump/X-ray probe method, at the 1W2B wiggler beamline at the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility. A high-repetition-rate and high-power laser is incorporated into the setup with in-house-built avalanche photodiodes as detectors. A simple acquisition scheme was applied to obtain laser-on and laser-off signals simultaneously. The capability of picosecond transient X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurement was demonstrated for a photo-induced spin-crossover iron complex in 6 mM solution with 155 kHz repetition rate.

Complex solutions under shear and pressure: a rheometer setup for X-ray scattering experiments


A newly developed high-pressure rheometer for in situ X-ray scattering experiments is described. A commercial rheometer was modified in such a way that X-ray scattering experiments can be performed under different pressures and shear. First experiments were carried out on hyaluronan, a ubiquitous biopolymer that is important for different functions in the body such as articular joint lubrication. The data hint at a decreased electrostatic interaction at higher pressure, presumably due to the increase of the dielectric constant of water by 3% and the decrease of the free volume at 300 bar.

The coherent radiation fraction of low-emittance synchrotrons


In this work the coherence properties of the synchrotron radiation beam from an X-ray undulator in a fourth-generation storage ring are analyzed. A slightly focused X-ray beam is simulated using a wavefront propagation through a non-redundant array of slits and the mutual coherence function is directly obtained and compared with the Gaussian–Schell approximation. The numerical wave propagation and the approximate analytical approaches are shown to agree qualitatively, and it is also shown that, when the coherent fraction is selected by a finite aperture before the focusing element, even achromatic focusing systems like total reflection mirrors become slightly chromatic. This effect is also well accounted for in the Gaussian–Schell model. The wavefront propagation simulation through the non-redundant array was repeated with an imperfect mirror demonstrating that, although the wavefront is distorted, its coherent length is practically unchanged.

SOLEIL shining on the solution-state structure of biomacromolecules by synchrotron X-ray footprinting at the Metrology beamline


Synchrotron X-ray footprinting complements the techniques commonly used to define the structure of molecules such as crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance. It is remarkably useful in probing the structure and interactions of proteins with lipids, nucleic acids or with other proteins in solution, often better reflecting the in vivo state dynamics. To date, most X-ray footprinting studies have been carried out at the National Synchrotron Light Source, USA, and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. This work presents X-ray footprinting of biomolecules performed for the first time at the X-ray Metrology beamline at the SOLEIL synchrotron radiation source. The installation at this beamline of a stopped-flow apparatus for sample delivery, an irradiation capillary and an automatic sample collector enabled the X-ray footprinting study of the structure of the soluble protein factor H (FH) from the human complement system as well as of the lipid-associated hydrophobic protein S3 oleosin from plant seed. Mass spectrometry analysis showed that the structural integrity of both proteins was not affected by the short exposition to the oxygen radicals produced during the irradiation. Irradiated molecules were subsequently analysed using high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify and locate oxidized amino acids. Moreover, the analyses of FH in its free state and in complex with complement C3b protein have allowed us to create a map of reactive solvent-exposed residues on the surface of FH and to observe the changes in oxidation of FH residues upon C3b binding. Studies of the solvent accessibility of the S3 oleosin show that X-ray footprinting offers also a unique approach to studying the structure of proteins embedded within membranes or lipid bodies. All the biomolecular applications reported herein demonstrate that the Metrology beamline at SOLEIL can be successfully used for synchrotron X-ray footprinting of biomolecules.

Hard X-ray-induced damage on carbon–binder matrix for in situ synchrotron transmission X-ray microscopy tomography of Li-ion batteries


The electrode of Li-ion batteries is required to be chemically and mechanically stable in the electrolyte environment for in situ monitoring by transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM). Evidence has shown that continuous irradiation has an impact on the microstructure and the electrochemical performance of the electrode. To identify the root cause of the radiation damage, a wire-shaped electrode is soaked in an electrolyte in a quartz capillary and monitored using TXM under hard X-ray illumination. The results show that expansion of the carbon–binder matrix by the accumulated X-ray dose is the key factor of radiation damage. For in situ TXM tomography, intermittent X-ray exposure during image capturing can be used to avoid the morphology change caused by radiation damage on the carbon–binder matrix.