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Complex systems and biomedical sciences


  • ID02 Time-Resolved Ultra Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering
  • ID09 Time-resolved diffraction
  • ID10 Soft interfaces and coherent scattering beamline
  • ID17 Biomedical beamline


Associated facilities




konovalo-tn.jpg (Oleg)  

Oleg Konovalov
Group Leader
+33 (0)4 76 88 27 31


Marco Cammarata
Group Deputy
+33 (0)4 76 88 23 91


The scientific portfolios of the beamlines in the Complex Systems and Biomedical Sciences Group include the broad field of soft matter and related areas in biology and nanosciences. The introduction to the group's chapter in the annual ESRF Highlights gives an overview of some recent accomplishments.

Soft matter studies address a large variety of questions concerning the microstructure, dynamics, self-assembly, structural kinetics and rheology of complex and nanostructured materials (polymers, colloids, surfactants, liquid crystals, proteins, etc.) in bulk, at interfaces as well as in confined geometry. Soft matter activities involve in situ investigations of material processing, site-selective chemistry and tailoring of supermolecular complexes, structural dynamics of molecular assemblies, structure and dynamics in thin films and membranes, diffraction from fibres, small unit cell systems and biological entities with hierarchical structures. 

Beamline ID03 offer a variety of techniques and sample environments for the study and analysis of surfaces, near-surface structures and buried interfaces on the atomic to micrometre length scales. This beamline is ideally suited to the study of samples relevant to future developments in catalysis, advanced electronics, nanoscience and nanotechnology.

The biomedical beamline ID17 covers various aspects of synchrotron-based biomedical research. Most of the scientific applications take advantage of the coupling of diagnostic and functional imaging with radiation therapy. This work relies on a strong collaboration with local and European hospital teams, and the efficient use of the ESRF Biomedical Facility.

  • Time-resolved small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) - ID02
  • Ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering (USAXS) - ID02
  • Pump-probe time-resolved X-ray diffraction and scattering - ID09
  • X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) - ID10
  • Coherent diffraction imaging (CDI) - ID10
  • grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GID) and small-angle scattering (GISAXS) - ID10
  • X-ray reflectometry (XRR) and grazing incidence fluorescence (GIXRF) - ID10
  • Nanobeam X-ray diffraction, fluorescence and imaging  - ID13
  • Microbeam SAXS/WAXS and crystallography - ID13

In-house research runs in parallel to beamline operation, helping us to develop and refine techniques while investigating diverse scientific areas. Additional details are on our in-house research page.

The ESRF’s mission includes interacting with and supporting European industry. Synchrotron X-rays permit analysis of industrial products under real conditions of manufacture and use, often in real time. Some examples of applications at this group's beamlines include:

  • Characterization of micro/nano structure and phase behavior of personal care products, detergents, food products, etc.
  • Elucidation of polymorphism in pharmaceutical materials.
  • Microstructure analysis of polymer and biopolymer fibers, films, etc.
  • Structural investigation of liquid-liquid and solid-liquid interfaces.
  • Hierarchical structural analysis of self-assembled functional materials.

The individuals listed above and the staff of the Business Development Office are available to help industrial researchers identify appropriate resources at the ESRF.

From time to time, staff and users have connections with the following beamlines, which are operated by Collaborative Research Groups (CRGs):

  • BM02 D2AM - French CRG
  • BM26 Dutch Belgian beamline (DUBBLE)
  • BM32 CRG-IF beamline