Science Minister Shines Light on World’s Biggest Synchrotron Stage
News Dec 02, 2010
Diamond’s I12 Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing Beamline Experimental Hutch 2 (known as JEEP EH2) produces one of the largest high-energy monochromatic X-ray beam of any synchrotron in the world, and also has an exceptionally large sample mounting stage, housed in a specially constructed end-station. While most synchrotron beamlines focus brilliant light or X-rays on microscopic samples such as protein crystals, JEEP can be used to examine massive samples over a metre long and up to 2,000 kg (2 tonnes) in weight and position them with micro-metre accuracy.
The Minister will meet the first researchers to use the new JEEP facility, an engineering team from Rolls-Royce who are testing innovative coatings for fan blades of the Trent 1000 engine, due to enter service in 2011. He will also meet scientists from Diamond, and a team from Imperial College London who are using JEEP to examine the internal microstructure on a range of materials including metal alloys, frozen soils and bone tissue with levels of precision that have never previously been possible.
He will also tour the synchrotron and meet research teams from leading universities and representatives of industrial partners including Pfizer, Evotec and Johnson Matthey, who use Diamond to develop high-tech products such as bio-engineered pharmaceuticals, energy-efficient catalysts and nano-electronic components.
Diamond Light Source has developed rapidly since it opened in 2007, with 18 beamlines now operational and 4 more under construction. Over 2,000 researchers currently use Diamond, and their work has generated over 1,000 journal and conference papers.
In October’s spending review, Chancellor George Osborne announced that Diamond will receive capital funding for its Phase III development, enabling the construction of 10 new beamlines by 2018. This will further enhance Diamond’s capability to support UK science and industry and contribute to economic growth.