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Crystals under pressure: Questioning bonds

Date: Jan 1, 2014

Author: David Bradley

Theoretical crystallographer Artem Oganov is about to turn the world of ionic solids upside down. He and his colleagues have demonstrated that, under modest pressure, that seemingly simplest of salts, sodium chloride, does not follow the usual rules of bonding and can form materials prohibited by conventional theory, such as NaCl3, NaCl7, Na3Cl2, Na2Cl, and Na3Cl.

Read More thumbnail image: Crystals under pressure Questioning bonds

Bird flu: X-rayed

Date: Dec 15, 2013

Author: David Bradley

The emergence of novel strains of avian influenza is a concern for international health agencies. The most recently identified, H7N9, has already killed several dozen people in China. However, X-ray diffraction and glycan arrays have demonstrated that this variant has not yet acquired the necessary receptor-binding properties to make it highly infectious between people rather than from infected birds to humans.

Read More thumbnail image: Bird flu X-rayed

Journal Highlight: Fluoropolymer-based clear and white paint coatings composition analysis by X-ray fluorescence

Date: Dec 9, 2013

Author: spectroscopyNOW

A new method for the quantification of organic and inorganic phase fractions was developed for clear, white fluoropolymer/acrylic-blend paints on aluminum panels by using wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Fluoropolymer-based clear and white paint coatings composition analysis by X-ray fluorescence

X-ray tracking: Electrons mapped

Date: Dec 1, 2013

Author: David Bradley

Femtosecond X-ray pulses can be used to track the movements of electrons under a strong electric field. Proof of principle with a crystal of lithium hydride provides important insights into electronic behaviour revealing, for instance, how the interactions between electrons decisively influences the direction in which they move.

Read More thumbnail image: X-ray tracking Electrons mapped

Luxurious aluminium: Hydrogen storage

Date: Nov 15, 2013

Author: David Bradley

Hydrogenation of an aluminium alloy to create a novel material for hydrogen gas storage has been investigated using in situ synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction measurements and other techniques pointing to a bright future for a once-luxury metal.

Read More thumbnail image: Luxurious aluminium Hydrogen storage

Journal Highlight: U-shape rotating anti-cathode compact X-ray generator: 20 times stronger than the commercially available X-ray source

Date: Nov 11, 2013

Author: spectroscopyNOW

A new type of U-shaped anti-cathode X-ray generator in which the inner surface of a cylindrical target is irradiated by an electron beam has been made by modifying a conventional rotating anti-cathode X-ray generator

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight U-shape rotating anti-cathode compact X-ray generator 20 times stronger than the commercially available X-ray source

Shell function: X-rays reveal climatic conditions

Date: Nov 1, 2013

Author: David Bradley

The climatic condition stretching back millions of years ago are locked into the ancient skeletons of microscopic sea creatures high-power X-ray microscopy reveals. The discovery could allow researchers to map the short timescale changes in ocean temperatures hundreds of millions of years ago.

Read More thumbnail image: Shell function X-rays reveal climatic conditions

Rock and a hard place: X-ray tomography digs deep

Date: Oct 15, 2013

Author: David Bradley

X-ray tomography carried out on simulated rock and metal samples could get deep beneath the surface in helping Stanford scientists to understand the way in which iron percolates into the Earth's mantle and how droplets of iron merge under such conditions to form interconnected networks of material.

Read More thumbnail image: Rock and a hard place X-ray tomography digs deep

Journal Highlight: Determination of elemental composition of Lake Baikal sponges by wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

Date: Oct 7, 2013

Author: spectroscopyNOW

Wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry was used to measure the concentrations of 19 elements in three types of sponges collected from Lake Baikal.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Determination of elemental composition of Lake Baikal sponges by wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

Nanotube forestry: X-rays see trees

Date: Oct 1, 2013

Author: David Bradley

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy has been used by Cambridge scientists to follow the interaction of metals involved in fertilising the growth of carbon nanotube forests. The insights it offers could open up a new approach to boosting forest density and lead to novel electronic systems.

Read More thumbnail image: Nanotube forestry X-rays see trees
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