Short Course/Workshop

Advanced Material Characterization by Synchrotron Radiation: Exploring the nature of materials

Canadian Light Source Inc., University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Canada S7N 0X4

The tunability of novel material systems offers great opportunities for future growth of material science including the development and application of novel functional hybrid structures, like nanostructures and composites, where new properties can be engineered by tweaking specific aspects of their chemical and electronic properties. This ability has opened up a new world but as need for improved performance grows, a gap is developing in our understanding of the relationship between performance and physical properties.  This gap will only be closed with state-of-the-art analytical tools.

The Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron is one such tool.  Techniques, such as the element specific probe X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), can supply detailed information on the electronic structure and the local chemistry of the absorbing atom. XAS has been successfully applied to investigate the chemical bonding, electronic structure, and surface chemistry of nanomaterials.  In addition, scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM), based on the X-ray absorption process, has a chemical contrast mechanism to allow for imaging at the nano-scale.  At a light source, the synchrotron version of “conventional” techniques, such as Mid-IR, X-ray based diffraction, scattering, and photoemission are also very valuable in unveiling important characteristic of nanomaterials and thereby closing the gap.

With a wide breadth of analytical techniques available, the CLS is often seen as a “Swiss army knife” for materials characterization. This workshop will invite CLS staff to introduce how synchrotron techniques, including, synchrotron Mid-IR, X-ray diffraction, computer micro tomography (CT), and XAS based imaging technique (STXM), are applied in material characterization. Participants will also have opportunity to tour the facility with focused visits at the Mid-IR, SGM and STXM beamlines.  It is anticipated that after the workshop the participant will have an increased familiarity with advanced synchrotron characterization of novel materials.

Date: Sunday June 1
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Canadian Light Source, Saskatoon, CLS 2068

Cost: $50 per participant*

Program and Course Descriptions
Lecture, CLS 2068 (TBD)

1:00 – 1:05 workshop opening greeting, Dr. Jeffery Cutler,  Director of Industrial Science

1:05—1:30 FTIR spectromicroscopy with synchrotron sources: an opportunity for materials science, Dr. Ferenc Borondics, Mid-IR beamline scientist

Abstract: FTIR is a well established technique with a long standing success in materials science and characterization. With the introduction of synchrotron sources the field exploded for biological studies, but the benefits in the field of materials science is also significant. We will review the currently available opportunities for SR/FTIR spectromicroscopy studies at the CLS Mid-IR beamline and present some challenges to the community for exploiting state-of-the-art developments in the field.

1:30-1:55 Characterization of Carbon Nanomaterials for Energy Related Applications by Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy, Dr. Jian Wang, SM acting beamline scientist

Abstract: Sustainable and renewable energy storage resources are highly demanded nowadays. Carbon nanomaterials have been showing great promise in energy related applications owing to their unique structure and extraordinary properties. Along the materials development and performance enhancement, advancing our understanding and knowledge of the chemical and electronic structures/properties of these novel carbon nanomaterials at the nanoscale is critical. Synchrotron based scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) using a nanoscaled focused soft X-ray beam (~30 nm) provides an excellent combination of microscopic examination and chemical/electronic structure speciation via XANES spectroscopy for individual nanomaterial particles. For the past few years we have systematically investigated a number of carbon nanotube (CNT), graphene and amorphous carbon based nanomaterials used as lithium-ion battery (LIB) electrode materials, electrochemical catalysts, hydrogen storage materials etc. Our findings not only disclosed the morphological, compositional and electronic structure variations, but also revealed the chemical interactions/bonding, defects and contaminants associated with individual carbon nanomaterials. In this presentation, selected examples will be presented to demonstrate the capabilities of STXM in these applications.

1:55-2:20 Capabilities and applications of synchrotron powder diffraction, Dr. Joel Reid, Industrial research scientist, CLS

Abstract: Powder diffraction (PXRD) is a key tool for studies of polycrystalline (and increasingly poorly crystalline and amorphous) material, capable of yielding information about atomic structure, phase composition, crystallite size and strain. Synchrotron PXRD offers significant advantages over laboratory PXRD, including increased resolution, higher flux and the ability to tailor the photon energy to the experiment. We will examine some of the capabilities of synchrotron powder diffraction at the CLS with examples.

2:20-2:45 Non destructive testing of aerospace composite materials using micro computed tomography

Mr. Jeremy Olson, Industrial science associate

Abstract: The Canadian light source synchrotron uses an extraordinarily wide range of intense beams of light to investigate materials. By its very nature the facility is able to perform a multitude of experiments, from investigating angstroms on the surface of a nanowire, to 3D imaging of a composite material. As the Saskatchewan node of the Composites Research Centres, CLS is at the forefront of understanding composite manufacturing processes.

In this presentation we will give examples of how this light can used to non-destructively test a wide range of composite materials. Examples will be shown, whereby the fundamental process that occur when carbon based composites are debulked and cured can be followed in real time, using micro computed tomography, thus giving a deep understanding of the composite manufacturing process.

2:45-3:00 coffee break

3:00-4:00 beamline tour at CLS

Mid-IR, Dr. Ferenc Borondics, Mid-IR beamline scienrist

SGM, Dr. Tom Regier, SGM beamline scientist

SM, Dr. Jian Wang, SM beamline scientist

CMCF and VESPERS, Dr. Joel Reid



* The workshop will be cancelled if the number of registered participants is less than 15.