Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering for Soft Materials
To meet the challenge on investigating new and complex materials that is relevant to mesoscale energy science. It is essential to connect microscopic dynamical processes to activated kinetic processes and macroscopic function in diverse soft and hard materials. We need sharper tools in order to discover, understand, and control mesoscale phenomena and architectures. Over the past a few years, we have developed Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering (RSoXS) and constructed the first dedicated resonant soft x-ray scattering beamline at the Advanced Light Source, LBNL. RSoXS combines soft x-ray spectroscopy with x-ray scattering thus offers statistical information for 3D chemical morphology over a large length scale range from nanometers to micrometers.
Using RSoXS to characterize multi-length scale soft materials with heterogeous chemical structures, we have demonstrated that soft x-ray scattering is a unique complementary technique to conventional hard x-ray and neutron scattering. Its unique chemical sensitivity, large accessible size scale, molecular bond orientation sensitivity with polarized x-rays and high coherence have shown great potential for chemical/morphological structure characterization for many classes of materials. Some recent development of in-situ soft x-ray scattering with in-vacuum sample environment will be discussed.
In order to study sciences in naturally occurring conditions, we need to overcome the sample limitations set by the low penetration depth of soft x-rays and requirement of high vacuum. Adapting to the evolving environmental cell designs utilized increasingly in the Electron Microscopy community, customized designed liquid/gas environmental cells will enable soft x-ray scattering experiments on biological, electro-chemical, self-assembly, and hierarchical functional systems in both static and dynamic fashion. Initial RSoXS results of solar fuel membrane assembly/fuel-cell membrane structure in wet cell will be presented.