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Atoms of a glass jump similarly to cosmic particles

X-ray experiment shows possible novel route for tailoring properties of glasses: “The story appears to be getting more interesting”


For thousands of years, people around the world have experimented with different ways to make glasses with varying properties by heating them until they melt then cooling them again. A team led by scientists at the University of Padua in Italy have used DESY’s PETRA III X-ray light source to ...


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New Scientific Finding: Light Can Be Used to Control Molecular Handedness

This new process could be particularly useful in chemically synthesizing compounds


In a recent study, researchers at Freie Universität Berlin, the DESY research center in Hamburg, Kiel University, and Kansas State University have shown how light can turn a planar molecule into a chiral molecule with just one particular handedness, providing a solution to the long-standing ...


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Smart gifts will soon unwrap themselves

Cellulose-based actuators can be programmed and repair themselves


With the help of the high-brilliance X-ray source PETRA III, a German-Swedish research group has developed a new cellulose polymer material that can be specifically animated to move by moisture, making it an ideal base material for programmable actuators. In addition, the composite material is ...


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Rare insights into growing nanoparticles

“This is a key factor for the design of highly active catalysts and sensors with high sensitivity”


How exactly do nanoparticles form in solution? Researchers from Universität Hamburg and DESY have now been able to observe the growth of nanoparticles in solution in real time. In the journal Nature Communications, they report on their observations using the method of X-ray ptychography, which ...


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How do molecular motors convert chemical energy in to mechanical work?

Researchers reveal structure and function of a complex micro machine


Molecular motors are complex devices composed of many different parts that consume energy to perform various cellular activities. In short, molecular machines transform energy into useful work. Understanding the mechanistical aspects underlying these motors begins with generating a detailed ...


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Surface imaging technique illuminates potential improvements in plastics production

DESY's free-electron laser FLASH shows chemical changes in surfaces


Consider the humble plastic food wrapper. It may seem like a simple clear film that wraps a loaf of bread or fruit gummies, but these films are less simply composed as it seems.Each individual layer must be chemically treated so that it adheres well to the next. In their efforts to adapt an ...


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Nanoparticles save historic buildings

Research team investigates nano-crystals for more strength of sandstone at DESY


Many historic buildings were built of sandstone, such as Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral. Sandstone is easy to work, but does not withstand weathering well. It consists of sand grains that are relatively weakly bonded to each other, so over the years parts of the stone keep crumbling away, often ...


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High-speed imaging of microchips

Novel method enables fast X-ray scans of large objects with nanometre resolution


A new method speeds up X-ray imaging of extended samples like microchips. The innovative technique makes it possible to study relatively large objects to nanometre fine details in a reasonable amount of time. That is not only interesting to science but also to industry, as the developer team led ...


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Electronic quantum dance in molecules

Scientists watch moving charge density in real-time


An international research team led by DESY scientist Tim Laarmann has for the first time been able to monitor the quantum mechanically evolving electron charge distribution in glycine molecules via direct real-time measurement. The results – obtained at DESY´s brilliant free-electron laser FLASH ...


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PETRA III shines a light on efficient production technique for a novel ‘green’ fertiliser

Advanced milling technique produces slow-release soil nutrient crystals


A purely mechanical method can produce a novel, more sustainable fertiliser in a less polluting way. That is the result of a method optimised at DESY's light source PETRA III. An international team used PETRA III to optimise the production method that is an adaptation of an ancient technique: by ...


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