X-ray Science

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X-ray Laser Explores How to Write Data with Light

Using laser light to read and write magnetic data by quickly flipping tiny magnetic domains could help keep pace with the demand for faster computing devices.

Now experiments with SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser have given scientists their first detailed look at how light controls the first trillionth of a second of this process, known as all-optical magnetic switching.

X-ray Laser Explores New Uses for DNA Building Blocks

The founding father of DNA nanotechnology – a field that forges tiny geometric building blocks from DNA strands – recently came to SLAC to get a new view of these creations using powerful X-ray laser pulses.

For decades, Nadrian C. "Ned" Seeman, a chemistry professor at New York University, has studied ways to assemble DNA strands into geometric shapes and 3-D crystals with applications in biology, biocomputing and nanorobotics.

New X-ray Tool Proves Timing is Everything

With SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, timing is everything. Its pulses are designed to explore atomic-scale processes that are measured in femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second. Determining the instant in time at which the laser strikes a sample, either by itself or in concert with another laser pulse, can be vital to the success of an experiment.

X-ray Laser Sees Photosynthesis in Action

Menlo Park, Calif. — Opening a new window on the way plants generate the oxygen we breathe, researchers used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to simultaneously look at the structure and chemical behavior of a natural catalyst involved in photosynthesis for the first time.

For Superionic Material, Smaller is Better

A material that could enable faster memory chips and more efficient batteries can switch between high and low ionic conductivity states much faster than previously thought, SLAC and Stanford researchers have determined. The key is to use extremely small chunks of it.

X-rays Capture Electron 'Dance'

The way electrons move within and between molecules, transferring energy as they go, plays an important role in many chemical and biological processes, such as the conversion of sunlight to energy in photosynthesis and solar cells. But the fastest steps in this energy transfer have eluded detection.

Stanford-SLAC Team Uses X-ray Imaging to Observe Running Batteries in Real Time

Most electric cars, from the Tesla Model S to the Nissan Leaf, run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – a pricey technology that accounts for more than half of the vehicle's total cost. One promising alternative is the lithium-sulfur battery, which can theoretically store five times more energy at a much lower cost.

X-ray Laser Probes Biomolecules to Individual Atoms

An international team led by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has proved how the world's most powerful X-ray laser can assist in cracking the structures of biomolecules, and in the processes helped to pioneer critical new investigative avenues in biology.

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