Beatrice Ruta, visiting scientist at the ESRF, awarded an ERC grant


The scientist’s research will focus on using coherent X-rays to elucidate the complex atomic motion of glasses. She will be using the technique of X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS) on beamline ID10, where she has spent an important part of her career.

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“Studying glasses is like an iceberg: we see the tip of it, but many phenomena are still hiding below, and that is where we want to get to”, explains Beatrice Ruta, now a CNRS researcher in the University of Lyon and visiting scientist at the ESRF. Glass is a material “out of equilibrium”. Despite many decades of study, its behaviour still surprises many scientist. Synchrotron sources are the best tools to deepen in the research on glasses, but they are technologically limited to provide all the answers.

Beatrice Ruta’s ERC grant, with a budget of about 1.5 million euros, will enable her to create a team of 2 post-doctoral researchers and 2 PhD students over a 5-year period. A substantial part of her research work will be carried out at the ESRF’s ID10 beamline. “The team on the beamline is currently optimizing it for the new EBS, and I can’t wait to use it”, she says.

 “With the new Extremely Brilliant Source we will overcome the technical limitations we’ve had until now”, she says. EBS has 100 times more coherent flux than the previous machine and will allow Ruta and her future team to study the dynamics of glasses at faster time scales. Thanks to the extension of coherent x-rays at higher energy, experiments at in-situ high pressure will also be possible.

The ESRF is planning to build a new beamline for “Coherent X-rays Dynamics and Imaging Applications” in the framework of the EBS Upgrade. Ruta has been involved in the conception of this beamline.

Beatrice Ruta, who started her career at the ESRF in 2005 as a Master’s student -“I was supposed to spend only 3 months at the ESRF”, she says-, spent most of her working life at the ESRF. She was awarded the ESRF Young Scientist Award in 2015 and she was the recipient of the Bronze Medal of the CNRS in 2020.


Top image: Beatrice Ruta. Credits: E. Bouy