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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

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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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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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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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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Combining modeling and in situ x-ray scattering to quantify confinement and desolvation in nanoporous carbon supercapacitors

In situ SAXS studies of the ion transport and arrangement in carbon nanopores allow to improve the performance of supercapacitors.
 
C. Prehal et al. , Nat. Energy 2, 16215 (2017).

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Hierarchical Formation Mechanism of CoFe2O4 Mesoporous Assemblies

Combined in-situ time-resolved SAXS, TEM and XRD allow to study the hierarchical mechanism of CoFe2O4 spherical meso- porous magnetic assemblies formation obtained with an eco-friendly, surfactant-assisted water-based precipitation approach. A lamellar (L) intermediate phase provides active sites for the formation of primary ferrite nanoparticles, which in turn are seeds for ....

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

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Precise positioning of gold nanoparticles with DNA origami nanostructures

DNA is becoming a key player in self-assembly approaches towards advances in nanotechnology. The DNA origami method allows the design and assembly of nano objects which can serve as scaffolds for the arrangement of guest molecules. To fully exploit the placement precision of DNA origami templates we investigated gold nanoparticle (AuNP) positioning on DNA origami structures with SAXS.  C. Hartl et al. , Nano Lett. 18 (4), 2609-2615 (2018).

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Nanocrystal superlattices: revealing a shape-induced orientation phase within 3D nanocrystal solids

Designing nanocrystal (NC) materials aims at obtaining superlattices that mimic the atomic structure of crystalline solids. In such atomic systems, spatially anisotropic orbitals determine the crystalline lattice type. Similarly, in NC systems the building block anisotropy defines the order of the final solid: here, the NC shape governs the final superlattice structure. The NC shape-anisotropy induces not only positional, but also orientational order, which is of special interest.
M. Burian et al. , Adv. Mater 30, 1802078 (2018).

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Mechanical and electrical properties of self-assembly-based porous organosilicate films

SiO2-based porous materials are important for various applications. Replacing Si–O–Si by Si–CH2–Si groups effects their mechanical and electrical properties: Young’s modulus increases from 5.3 GPa to 6.6 GPa, and the dielectric constant increases from 2.12 to 2.27.

M. Redzheb et al. , J. Mater. Chem. C 5, 8599-8607 (2017).

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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.  


ATTENTION:   Since January 2018, all SAXS beamtime proposals, both single and multitechnique, can ONLY be submitted via CERIC!

(via the link "Submit a new Ceric proposal" in the Virtual Unified Office)

We ask all our previous Elettra users to move to this submission channel.


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 CERIC proposal submission for beamtime allocation from January 1st to June 30th, 2020, will be 
  • September 1st 2019 at 17:00 CET for users who wish to get a pre-evaluation and the possibility to improve their proposal
  • September 30th 2019 at 17:00 CET final submission, recommended only for users that are experts in all the techniques requested.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2019 15:10