CeXS in short
Sweden has a number of infrastructures that provide researchers with access to highly advanced, specialist facilities. Some facilities are supported by other countries. In Germany, a Swedish-German collaboration similarly provides Swedish researchers with access to the PETRA III facility for experiments using ultra high energy X-rays.
This video for KTHs students explains how the X-ray and neturon beams generated in large facilities provide researchers with information.
X-ray measurements in research
X-rays are widely used in the medical world to see inside the body.
Researchers similarly use X-rays to see the atoms, crystals and structures that are deep inside materials – only we need X-rays that are a billion times more powerful than a typical medical X-ray.
Producing such powerful X-rays requires specialist research facilities called synchrotrons. Sweden has its own synchrotron, MAX IV in Lund. Sweden also has part of a synchrotron, the PETRA III Swedish Materials Science beamline, at the PETRA III facility in Hamburg, Germany.
The PETRA III synchrotron is one of the world's most powerful X-ray generators. PETRA III covers an area equivalent to about 60 football pitches.
Research infrastructure use
The PETRA III synchrotron, and its Swedish Materials Science beamline, is typically used each year by 200 Swedish researchers representing all of Sweden’s universities as well as RISE, SweRIM and companies.
Demand for access is oversubscribed by a factor 2–7.
Research data is contributing leading and practical scientific knowledge in several fields of materials research, with application examples including:
- Solar panels – material efficiency and robustness
- Rechargeable batteries and battery materials
- Catalysis removal of noxious gases – process effectiveness and catalysis recovery
- Steel resistance to hydrogen embrittlement - relevant for offshore energy applications
- Additive manufacturing – real time studies of the component’s material during component production processes
These, and other examples, are similarly relevant for the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (4, 7, 8, 9 and 13).
Background of Swedish-German collaboration
The background to the PETRA III Swedish Node was a memorandum of understanding between the Swedish and German governments to cooperate in infrastructure development and research.
When assessing how to implement this agreement, a key consideration for Sweden was ensuring complementarity to the MAX IV and ESS research infrastructures that were also being planned at that time. Such infrastructure complementary matched the measurement needs of materials science researchers. Accordingly, Sweden decided to finance the building and operation of a Swedish Materials Science beamline at PETRA III.
The beamline become operational for Swedish researchers during 2019. Swedish researchers have privileged access to this beamline as well as privileged access to the other beamlines at PETRA III that are operated by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY).
The PETRA III Swedish Node currently is, and will continue to be, a complement to the Swedish MAX IV synchrotron. The Swedish Materials Science beamline at PETRA III is distinctive in its capability to obtain signals deep inside materials with high measurement time resolution.
The PETRA III Swedish Node will also be a complement to the ESS infrastructure that is currently under construction in Lund. ESS makes neutron measurements that are useful for working out the internal shapes of structures within materials. So ESS gives a different type of information (see the Buda example). Putting aside these differences, the PETRA III Swedish Node will still be distinct in its ultra fast measurement capabilities – enabling measurements materials as they are being produced and used.
CeXS role and contribution
The Swedish Materials Science beamline at PETRA III is the physical part of the PETRA III Swedish node. The PETRA III Swedish Node has a part located here in Sweden, which is this Center for X-rays in Swedish Material Science (CeXS). CeXS has the assignments to safeguard Swedish interests at PETRA III and to act as the academic host of the Swedish Materials Science beamline.
CeXS is run jointly by KTH and LiU – with CeXS acting for the interests of the entire Swedish materials science research community (all of Sweden’s universities as well as RISE, SweRIM and companies.)
A key contribution of CeXS is ensuring a user perspective in decision making about ongoing operational developments and upgrade planning.