In the Spring of 2018, a a brand new instrument for measurements, funded by an NSF-MRI grant with matching support from LRSM and SEAS (and additional building renovations funded by SAS, SEAS, and the Provost) was installed in the LRSM.
The DEXS instrument (“Dual Source and Environmental X-ray Scattering”) incorporates a Xeuss 2.0 small-angle system with Cu and Mo X-ray sources and adjustable sample-detector distances from 7 cm to 6.3 m. This provides scientists with an unprecedent capability to measure structures of materials from the subnanometer to the micron scale on the same instrument. Once the sample is placed in the instrument, all aspects of the measurement are computer-controlled, including collimation and choice of source. The DEXS instrument is also equipped with a wide variety of sample environments and special configurations, including controlled temperature, humidity, grazing incidence, and measurements under tension.
The instrument was commissioned and tested during the summer of 2018, and is now being used by research groups in Materials Science, Physics, and Chemistry, as well as outside academic and industrial users. Anticipated applications of the research being conducted using this instrument include nanoporous metals for energy storage, nanocrystals for light harvesting, polycarbonates in ionic liquids with tunable chemical reactivity, and a variety of others.