Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


LiXEdrom: Innovative measuring chamber for X-ray study of liquid jets

Until now, the only way to study liquids by soft X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) has been through a membrane window. Now, researchers of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have carried out an XES study of a free micro-liquid jet on the synchrotron.

X-rays are the medium of choice for many scientific studies. When you shine them on a sample, they literally shed light on the material’s structure, providing loads of information about it. Unfortunately, this mostly applies to solids only, since the sample has to be in a vacuum for the entire time it is being irradiated with soft X-rays.

Schematic drawing of the LiXEdrom setup for X-ray absorption and X-ray emission spectroscopy on the liquid-jet. Bild: HZB

For liquids, that means you have to remove all the water. In the case of biological samples such as proteins, however, this destroys their natural environment. The solution to this problems has always been to measure liquids through membranes. These membranes keep the evacuated side separate from the non-evacuated side. The trouble is, one can never really be sure whether or not membrane effects are distorting the measurement results.

At Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), Emad Aziz, head of a junior research group, has shown that liquids can be investigated by X-ray emission spectroscopy without using membranes after all. At the synchrotron source BESSY II, the group has built a special setup – the LiXEdrom. It is unique in that the liquid is shot as a jet through the X-ray beam. The jet from the nozzle becomes so thin and, at 80 metres per second, so fast that the vacuum can be maintained without the need of a membrane.

“On our LiXEdrom, we create a vacuum in the liquid chamber of up to 10-6 millibar, and can now perform both absorption and emission measurements, giving us even more precise information about the structure of a material,” says Emad Aziz. It also allows a clear “view” of elements that possess absorption and emission energies similar to the energies of the membrane materials, and would therefore overlap with the membrane in the spectrum when measured. This concerns above all carbon and nitrogen – precisely those elements of interest in biological samples.

In their first measurements, published in Chemical Physics (DOI: 10.1016/JChemPhys.2010.08.023) and selected for the cover, the group demonstrated they can achieve energy resolutions on their LiXEdrom comparable to those of the latest high resolution XES spectrometers. For water, they have proven that results obtained from an earlier setup were not overlapped by disturbing membrane effects. They have also studied the electronic structure of nickel ions, unhampered by a risk of deposits on a membrane wall distorting the results. For many applications such as protein studies, this is a significant step towards obtaining reliable structural information.

Original paper in Chem. Phys., DOI 10.1016/JChemPhys.2010.08.023
„High Resolution X-ray Emission Spectroscopy of Water and Aqueous Ions Using the Micro-Jet Technique”, K.M. Lange et al.

Dr. Ina Helms | Helmholtz-Zentrum
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1
21.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik FHR

nachricht Taming chaos: Calculating probability in complex systems
21.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>