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Physical Sciences and Engineering

Synchrotron Studies of Materials

The Synchrotron Studies of Materials group focuses on the development and use of cutting-edge X-ray methods at synchrotrons and X-ray free electron lasers to understand heterogeneity, dynamics, and properties of critical materials.

The Synchrotron Studies of Materials group is advancing the frontier of materials science through creative use of the X-ray facilities in the nation and around the world, including the premier hard X-ray synchrotron, the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne. Recent advances in X-ray facilities promise dramatic improvements in photon coherence and ultra-fast pulse timing structures. The team focuses on developing novel X-ray methods that take advantage of these unique capabilities and applying these methods to obtain a fundamental understanding of key topics essential for the efficient development of new materials. Our work reveals the role of spatial heterogeneities and temporal dynamics that control the properties and evolution of materials for energy. One of our current focuses is developing coherent diffraction imaging to resolve nanoscale features of functional and quantum materials under different conditions. We are also pushing faster X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy for capturing dynamics of materials during operation and implementing time-resolved X-ray studies to understand the energy dissipation pathway immediately after ultrafast excitations. These X-ray methods are providing revolutionary capabilities that impact materials research, especially with the facility upgrades of the Advanced Photon Source and the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS-II).