Scientific applications of the ID02 beamline can be broadly divided into three domains; (1) soft condensed matter, (2) noncrystalline structural biology, and (3) interdisciplinary area of soft matter, biology, and nanoscience.

  • Soft condensed matter

    Soft matter studies most often involve probing the equilibrium, nonequilibrium and transient microstructures in systems such as colloids, polymers, surfactants membranes, proteins, etc. In these studies, a variety of techniques such as rheology, stopped-flow rapid mixing, etc. are combined with SAXS, USAXS or simultaneous SAXS/WAXS. The high dynamic range of SAXS/USAXS techniques permits elucidating the multiple structural levels of a large variety of soft matter systems. UA-XPCS has opened the possibility for probing the equilibrium dynamics in optically opaque samples over micron size and sub-millisecond time scales.  The high resolution and improved sensitivity of SAXS may be exploited to probe the spatial distribution of counterions in charged soft matter by the anomalous SAXS method.

  • Non-crystalline structural biology

    The noncrystalline structural biology work is largely centered around the structure-function relationship. For example in muscle by combining very precise mechanics and high resolution (ultra) small-angle diffraction allow molecular level elucidation of the pathways of regulation down to the millisecond time scale. Time resolved studies can also be done in solution e.g. by combining with the stopped-flow mixing to probe the supermolecular structure under in-vitro conditions. Examples include protein interactions and folding, virus self-assembly, etc.

  • Interdisciplinary areas of soft matter and nanoscience

    Many exotic nanostructured systems are realized by the hierarchical self-assembly of complex molecules. High resolution SAXS/USAXS and a combination of SAXS and WAXS are  very powerful and non destructive techniques to elucidate such hierarchical structures. Examples include the self-assembly of amphiphilic peptides, complexes of cationic lipids with biopolymers such as DNA, actin, etc. In another situation, the growth kinetics of pyrolytic nanoparticles under extreme dilute conditions (φ < 10-7) can be studied in the sub-millisecond range.

  • Industrial

    Combined SAXS/WAXS/USAXS is a powerful method to determine the microstructure and phase behavior of multi-component systems involved in cosmetics, detergents, pharmaceuticals, polymers, nanocomposites, etc. In addition, in-situ studies can be performed under similar conditions as that involved in industrial processing (e.g. polymers).


Selected examples:

         Some of the recent examples are also reviewed in this Advances in Colloid and Interface Science article.




Further Information