Advanced X-ray microbeam techniques at the ESRF have enabled a team of Austrian researchers to study the reaction of bone to biodegradable bone implants based on Mg. The study unveiled an impact of the implant degradation speed on the Mg distribution, indicating at least two different pathways of Mg storage in bone. Changes in bone nanostructure and mineralisation were observed in a region of high local Mg content. The results suggest direct incorporation of Mg in bone mineral crystals.
The electrical properties of functional electric materials can be studied using a new technique involving X-ray absorption spectroscopy. External electric fields were found to produce shifts of XANES spectra providing an element-selective measure of atomic polarisation originating from the permanent electric dipoles present in polar samples.
The Meissner effect is used as proof of the superconducting nature of a material and typically demonstrated by the levitation of a magnet as the material reaches its superconducting state. A new approach was needed to study a superconductor created inside a high pressure...
As part of the European Union's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, the ESRF is set to play a significant role in several major projects that were launched this autumn.
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have used the ESRF’s X-rays to study the blue and white feathers of the Jay and have found that birds use well-controlled changes to the nanostructure of their feathers to create the vivid colours of their plumage. This research opens new possibilities for creating non-fading, synthetic colours for paints and clothing.