News and Research Highlights

Latest announcements about Photon Science at DESY as well as important research or technical news can be found here:

13 April 2018 · Research Highlight

High-energy X-ray method promises 3D images of intact biological cells


A concept for a novel X-ray microscope, developed by DESY scientists, promises three-dimensional images of delicate objects like biological cells using a thousand times less damaging radiation than conventional methods. The novel microscope would allow to image whole cells at high resolution in their native environment, without freezing, cutting or staining them. Pablo Villanueva-Perez, Saša Bajt ...

03 April 2018 · Research Highlight

Pocket accelerator combines four functions in one device


DESY scientists have created a miniature particle accelerator for electrons that can perform four different functions at the push of a button. The experimental device is driven by a Terahertz radiation source and can accelerate, compress, focus and analyse electron bunches in a beam. Its active structures measure just a few millimetres across. The developers from the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science ...

26 March 2018 · Research Highlight

Edges and corners increase efficiency of catalytic converters


Catalytic converters for cleaning exhaust emissions are more efficient when they use nanoparticles with many edges. This is one of the findings of a study carried out at PETRA III at DESY. A team of scientists from the DESY NanoLab watched live as noxious carbon monoxide (CO) was converted into common carbon dioxide (CO2) on the surface of noble metal nanoparticles like those used in catalytic ...

14 March 2018

High-temperature study at PETRA III opens view on movements in the mantle of the Earth


Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the behavior of certain seismic waves in Earth's mantle, which could help to accurately map these processes. Studies at DESY, with a newly developed experimental setup, could show the behaviour of the mineral ferropericlase at high pressure and high temperatures for the first time. The researchers led by Hauke ​​Marquardt and Julia Immoor of ...

05 March 2018

Max von Laue Prize for Elena Bykova


DESY scientist Elena Bykova has been awarded the Max von Laue Prize 2018 by the German Crystallographic Society. The prize was presented on Monday, at the society’s annual conference in Essen. It recognises the outstanding achievements of the 29-year-old scientist in the field of ultra-high-pressure crystallography and the resulting unique scientific insights into novel high-pressure materials. This ...

01 March 2018

"Trends in water research" - Research Course and international Symposium at DESY


More than 140 participants attended the 17th DESY Research Course and the international DESY Symposium on water research this week. The symposium took place for the first time. Water is unambiguously the most important liquid on Earth and is therefore in the focus of geoscience, physics, chemistry and biology. It shows a remarkable variety of anomalies of many ...

26 February 2018 · Research Highlight

Metal offers improved method of making graphene


Scientists, also from DESY, have been exploring a promising way of producing layers of graphene with particularly few defects. This coveted carbon allotrope spontaneously forms on nickel surfaces on which carbon has previously been deposited. The extremely high quality of the graphene produced and the relatively low temperature of around 400 degrees Celsius used in the process make this method interesting ...

09 February 2018 · Research Highlight

X-ray spot on fillet of pork


A team of Swedish and German scientists has been using X-rays at the PETRA III synchrotron light source to study the decomposition of meat. In experiments carried out on fibres taken from fillets of pork, the researchers examined how the quality of the meat was affected by the storage temperature and by parameters affected by the amount of stress experienced by the pigs before slaughter. The results ...

08 February 2018 · Research Highlight

X-ray experiments reveal exact details of self-catalysed growth for the first time


At DESY's X-ray source PETRA III, scientists have followed the growth of tiny wires of gallium arsenide live. Their observations reveal exact details of the growth process responsible for the evolving shape and crystal structure of the crystalline nanowires. The findings also provide new approaches to tailoring nanowires with desired properties for specific applications. The scientists, headed by ...

06 February 2018 · Research Highlight

Liquid crystal molecules form nano rings


At DESY's X-ray source PETRA III, scientists have investigated an intriguing form of self-assembly in liquid crystals: When the liquid crystals are filled into cylindrical nanopores and heated, their molecules form ordered rings as they cool – a condition that otherwise does not naturally occur in the material. This behavior allows nanomaterials with new optical and electrical properties, as the ...

01 January 2018 · Research Highlight

Deep insights from diamonds


Diamonds have unparalleled value for geoscientific research. With measurements at DESY's X-ray source PETRA III and elsewhere, an international team including researchers from the University of Bayreuth recently discovered that inclusions of iron-containing garnet are highly oxidized in diamonds that originate at great depths. These tiny pieces of minerals help to explain chemical processes in the ...

25 January 2018

1200 participants at the annual meeting for users


The joint meeting of users of DESY's research light sources and the European XFEL X-ray laser once again drew a record number of attendees to Hamburg. Some 1200 participants from nearly 100 institutions from around 30 countries have registered for the three-day event (24-26 January) held at DESY, more than ever before. A particular highlight this ...

16 January 2018 · Research Highlight

Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes


What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team, including researchers from DESY,  has worked out the details of how important bioinorganic electron transfer systems operate. Using a combination of very different, time-resolved measurement methods at DESY's X-ray source PETRA III and other facilities, the scientists were able to show ...