Research Highlights

In this category especially chosen Research Highlights are presented in more detail, which have been published in a peer reviewed journal. Please recommend interesting papers, which are suitable for future highlights, to Wiebke Laasch.

13 April 2018

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

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

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 ...

26 February 2018

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

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

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

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

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 ...

16 January 2018

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 ...