X-ray spectroscopy is applied in a wide variety of scientific fields such as molecular and condensed matter physics, materials sciences, chemistry, earth science, and biology: its unique sensitivity to local atomic structure, (in contrast to X-ray diffraction, which probes long-range order) is exploited to study the electronic structure and chemical speciation of a large fraction of elements within the periodic table.
IPS operates three beamlines for investigation of materials using different X-ray spectroscopic techniques. The available methods differ in their depth sensitivity, ranging from very surface-sensitive methods and two-dimensional measurements, to bulk probes and three-dimensional investigations for study of eg. amorphous solids, liquids and solutions, doping and ion-implantation materials for electronics, organometallics, metalloproteins, and metal clusters.
X-SPEC is a high-flux beamline for electron and soft & hard x-ray spectroscopy of materials relevant for energy applications. Covering a wide energy range from 70 eV to 15 keV, X-SPEC provides two experimental stations which offer x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS), photoelectron spectroscopy with soft and hard x-rays (PES/HAXPES), as well as x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) and resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS).
The SUL-X beamline is a part of the Synchrotron Laboratory for Environmental Studies dedicated to investigation of environmentally-relevant materials, for example contaminated soils, mining dump sediments, (which may consist of mixtures of amorphous and crystalline mineral phases with micrometer or nano-scale particle sizes, microbes, and in some cases vegetable material). Spatial distribution, speciation, and phase association of trace levels of contaminants provide insigths into environmental risk assessment and remediation strategies for problematic elements such as arsenic, lead, and even actinides such as uranium.
XAS is a general-purpose beamline for X-ray spectroscopy investigation of bulk materials. Current research is focused on materials with nano-sized dimensions possessing novel chemical or macroscopic properties, for example H-storage materials based on Ti-clusters, catalytic systems as nanostructured traps for SOx, anode and cathode materials for rechargeable batteries, or Ni-doped nano-carbon-tube systems for tunable magnetic properties.