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FLASH reveals ultrafast dynamics of photocatalysis

Free electron laser study sheds light on the mechanism and timescale of the photocatalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide on titanium oxide

30-Nov-2020

An international team of scientists have studied, for the first time, the light induced oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2) on the surface of an oxide photocatalyst in real-time using the soft X-ray free-electron laser FLASH combined with theoretical calculations. According ...

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Searching for the chemistry of life

Study shows possible new way to create DNA base pairs

06-Oct-2020

In the search for the chemical origins of life, researchers have found a possible alternative path for the emergence of the characteristic DNA pattern: According to the experiments, the characteristic DNA base pairs can form by dry heating, without water or other solvents. The team led by Ivan ...

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High-pressure study advances understanding of promising battery materials


X-ray investigation shows systematic distortion of the crystal lattice of high-entropy oxides

18-Sep-2020

In a high-pressure X-ray study, scientists have gained new insights into the characteristics of a promising new class of materials for batteries and other applications. The team led by Qiaoshi Zeng from the Center for High Pressure Science in China used the brilliant X-rays from DESY's research ...

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Liquid water at 170 degrees Celsius

X-ray laser reveals anomalous dynamics at ultra-fast heating

18-Sep-2020

Using the X-ray laser European XFEL, a research team has investigated how water heats up under extreme conditions. In the process, the scientists were able to observe water that remained liquid even at temperatures of more than 170 degrees Celsius. The investigation revealed an anomalous dynamic ...

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Temperature can regulate wetting properties of sprayed latex surfaces

Properties are essential for spray manufacturing and the printing industry

17-Apr-2020

A Swedish-German research team has been using DESY’s X-ray source PETRA III to investigate how surface coatings can be made to attract or repel water using tailor-made latex nanoparticles. Being able to influence the wettability of surfaces during production is important in many applications, ...

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Tiny double accelerator recycles energy

Proof of concept for cascaded terahertz accelerator using long pulses

25-Mar-2020

A team of DESY scientists has built a miniature double particle accelerator that can recycle some of the laser energy fed into the system to boost the energy of the accelerated electrons a second time. The device uses narrowband terahertz radiation which lies between infrared and radio ...

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Plastic from Wood

X-ray analysis points the way to lignin-based components made to measure

03-Mar-2020

The biopolymer lignin is a by-product of papermaking and a promising raw material for manufacturing sustainable plastic materials. However, the quality of this naturally occurring product is not as uniform as that of petroleum-based plastics. An X-ray analysis carried out at DESY reveals for the ...

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X-rays show birth of semiconductor for blue LEDs

Gallium nitride is the second most important semiconductor material after silicon

28-Feb-2020

Using a special pressure furnace, an international team of researchers has analysed the initial stages of the growth of the semiconductor gallium nitride with X-ray light. The observations show for the first time the atomic structure of the interface of the semiconductor material with liquid ...

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Tuneable self-organisation of liquid crystals in nanopores

Innovative path to novel materials with adaptive electrical and optical properties

04-Feb-2020

A team of researchers has used X-rays from DESY's research light source PETRA III to explore the amazingly diverse self-organisation of liquid crystals in nanometre-sized pores. The study, led by Patrick Huber from the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), shows how liquid crystals arrange ...

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Ultrafast birth of free radicals observed in water

X-ray laser provides unrivalled insight into the first chemical reaction during radiolysis

13-Jan-2020

Using extremely short X-ray flashes, an international team of researchers has for the first time ever observed details of the ultrafast chemical reaction leading to the formation of aggressive radicals when water is irradiated. The study provides unprecedented insights into the process, which can ...

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