Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

Materials Physics and Engineering

How can we make today’s materials safer and more efficient? Can we combine key experiments with computational tools to design and engineer new materials? Such questions, which are at the core of materials research, are addressed with x-rays by users and staff of the Materials Physics and Engineering (MPE) group. The MPE group operates Sector 1 of the Advanced Photon Source, which consists of the insertion device beamline 1-ID and bending magnet beamline 1-BM.

1-ID delivers high-brilliance, high-energy x-rays above 42 keV, providing a unique combination of penetration power and high spatio-temporal resolution. These characteristics are exploited with two primary techniques (i) high-energy diffraction microscopy (HEDM) and (ii) combined high-energy small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering (HE-SAXS/WAXS). HEDM reveals information on single grains (size, shape, orientation, strain) within polycrystalline aggregates, while HE-SAXS/WAXS reveals similar grain-averaged information over a wide range of size scales (0.1-100 nm). Incident x-ray beams can be focused down to the micron-level, and 3-dimensional information can be achieved either in direct space, using a conical-slit system (~100 micron resolution), or through reconstruction algorithms. These techniques rely on area detectors for efficient data collection with temporal resolutions down to 10msec, and are often used with thermo-mechanical environments, to enable studies of ‘real materials in real conditions’.

6-BM uses white-beam bending magnet radiation to perform energy-dispersive diffraction (EDD) measurements.

The EDD technique can be used to characterize:

  • the phase transformation behavior in geological materials.
  • the residual stress field in large engineering components.
  • the evolution of complex material systems embedded in various types of sample environments such as furnaces and battery cyclers.

Exploiting the experimental geometry, non-destructive 3-dimensional (3D) characterization can be achieved. The spatial resolution in the directions perpendicular to the incident beam is approximately 10 um; the spatial resolution parallel to the incident beam depends on the slit configuration; it is typically on the order of mm. Angular resolution is on the order of 0.001 deg. Strain resolution is approximately +/-0.0002.