New instruments to help researchers gain unique knowledge about cell wall surfaces
Swedish universities, institutes and companies collaborate on planning new instruments for installation at ESS, the world's most powerful research facility for neutron radiation.
The Swedish Research Council has now granted funding for two interdisciplinary projects, known as SAGA and HIBEAM, as feasibility studies for future instruments.
Swedish research already holds a leading position in surface physics and chemistry and the SAGA project is expected to further strengthen technological developments in this field.
A dedicated Grazing-Incidence Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (GISANS) instrument will enable researchers to analyse how a neutron beam spreads when reflected from a surface. The SAGA instrument (Surface Analysis using Grazing Angle neutron scattering) will provide unique knowledge of surface layers for potential use in developing new medicines, packaging, batteries, and other applications.
“SAGA will provide a powerful means to investigate the structure of buried interfaces applicable to a range of applications from material science to food science and biomedicine,” says Marité Cárdenas, Professor of Physical Chemistry at Malmö University.
Research related to SAGA concerns the interface between physics, chemistry, and biology. Meanwhile, HIBEAM creates an environment for collaboration between specialists in particle and nuclear physics. The two projects are based on internationally prominent research and are being carried out in collaboration with international and industry partners.
“Swedish research already holds a leading position in surface physics and chemistry and the SAGA project is expected to further strengthen technological developments in this field. Applications exist for all major manufacturing industries and it is therefore very positive that we are now able to take the next step,” says Max Wolff, Professor of Neutron Scattering, Uppsala University.
The initiators of the SAGA project are Lund University, Uppsala University, Malmö University, Linköping University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. This first phase of planning for an instrument proposal to be submitted to ESS will take approximately three years to prepare.
“Sweden needs stronger involvement in ESS, and having an instrument with the Swedish flag would drastically change this for the better. Moreover, Sweden has traditionally been very strong in surface science which makes the GISANS instrument a natural progression in Swedish infrastructure,” says Cárdenas.