Synchrotron photon sources offer an extremely wide energy spectrum, ultra-small beam dimensions and extreme temporal resolution, making it possible to investigate a huge range of dynamic processes in materials and biological systems.

At IPS we develop and apply synchrotron-based in situ & operando X-ray imaging, X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray scattering techniques  within the framework of the Helmholtz Research Program "From Matter to Materials and Life" (MML). Our research comprises pioneering, proof-of-principle experiments as well as systematic studies, which advance our understanding of the relationships between structure, function and behaviour in materials research and the life sciences. For this purpose the IPS operates the three state-of-the-art SPECTROSCOPY, SCATTERING and IMAGING Clusters, incorporating beamline and laboratory instrumentation at the KIT Light Source together with facilities at the synchrotron sources at PETRA III, the ESRF and the ALS

Our research activities are closely linked to teaching and research within the KIT Faculties of Physics and Chemistry & Biosciences, and  we work in close cooperation with other KIT institutes and with leading national and international research institutions and universities.

X-ray microtomography reveals important evolutionary step in insects

Using microtomographic 3D imaging of chalcid wasps at the UFO experimental station of IPS at KIT Light Source, researchers have uncovered a new type of insect mouthpart - flexible mandibles - which have given this particularly species-rich group of tiny insects a decisive evolutionary advantage.

The modified lattice dynamics of ultrathin high-k films potentially reduces their high dielectric constants

Thin oxide films with high dielectric constants are of paramount importance for complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) device technology in order to reduce power consumption and increase operation speed in high package densities.

Telling sulfates apart using x-ray spectroscopy

Sulfur compounds play an important role in applied materials systems such as lithium-sulfur batteries, thin-film solar cells, and catalysts. Using X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) at the sulphur L-edge, we have characterized the chemical and electronic structures of different sulfate phases and observed subtle but distinct differences in the spectra of sulfates with different cations.

Characterisation of platinum thin film growth by in-situ synchrotron X-ray methods

Platinum in thin-film form is often used as the base electrode in multiferroic systems. Characterizing the growth conditions of such films represents a highly relevant issue that is of importance for controlling the crystalline quality and performance of such multiferroic oxides.