July 14, 2011
On Monday, July 11, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Postdoctoral Researcher Yijin Liu and Visiting Scientist Florian Meirer of Fondazione Bruno Kessler led a transmission X-ray microscope "Wizard Workshop" at SSRL. In the half-day meeting, Meirer and Liu presented software called “TXM Wizard” they created for data collection and analysis using SSRL Beam Line 6-2's Xradia transmission X-ray microscope, which offers researchers and users the ability to peer into the three-dimensional chemistry and structure of a range of materials.
Unlike a traditional microscope, which views small structures with visible light (which has a relatively large, low-energy wavelength), the transmission X-ray microscope sees the world with X-rays (which have a very small wavelength, and are very high energy so they can penetrate deeply to “see through” objects). The new microscope also uses tunable X-rays that can be changed to reveal the chemistry of a sample, giving researchers the power to scrutinize materials to a level impossible without a synchrotron X-ray source. The final result is a three-dimensional image that can be turned into a movie of the nano-scale structural and chemical features of the sample. The workshop also included hands-on data analysis of such reconstructions and images.
"Many local users were able to attend," said SSRL staff scientist Joy Andrews Hayter. "They appreciated the chance to get a big-picture overview of our capabilities, and to see analysis of data other than their own. We also received lots of positive comments about the hands-on work, which helped them to gain more confidence with the data analysis process.”