Zakharova M., Vlnieska V., Fornasier H., Borner M., dos Santos Rolo T., Mohr J., Kunka D.

in Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 8 (2018), 468. DOI:10.3390/app8030468


© 2018 by the authors. Single-shot grating-based phase-contrast imaging techniques offer additional contrast modalities based on the refraction and scattering of X-rays in a robust and versatile configuration. The utilization of a single optical element is possible in such methods, allowing the shortening of the acquisition time and increasing flux efficiency. One of the ways to upgrade single-shot imaging techniques is to utilize customized optical components, such as two-dimensional (2D) X-ray gratings. In this contribution, we present the achievements in the development of 2D gratings with UV lithography and gold electroplating. Absorption gratings represented by periodic free-standing gold pillars with lateral structure sizes from 5 μm to 25 μm and heights from 5 μm to 28 μm have shown a high degree of periodicity and defect-free patterns. Grating performance was tested in a radiographic setup using a self-developed quality assessment algorithm based on the intensity distribution histograms. The algorithm allows the final user to estimate the suitability of a specific grating to be used in a particular setup.

Reich S., Gottlicher J., Letzel A., Gokce B., Barcikowski S., dos Santos Rolo T., Baumbach T., Plech A.

in Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, 124 (2018), 71. DOI:10.1007/s00339-017-1503-3


© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Pulsed laser ablation in liquids (PLAL) as an attractive process for ligand-free nanoparticle synthesis represents a multiscale problem to understand the mechanisms and achieve control. Atomic and nanoscale processes interacting with macroscale dynamics in the liquid demand for sensitive tools for in-situ and structural analysis. By adding X-ray methods, we enlarge the available information on millimeter-scale bubble formation down to atomic-scale nanoparticle reactions. X-ray spectroscopy (XAS) can resolve the chemical speciation of the ablated material during the ablation from a zinc wire target showing a first oxidation step from zinc to zinc oxide within some 10 min followed by a slower reaction to hydrozincite. X-ray imaging investigations also give additional information on the bubble dynamics as we demonstrate by comparing the microsecond radiography and optical stroboscopy. We show different features of the detachment of the ablation bubble from a free wire. The location of the first collapse occurs in front of the target. While a first rebound bubble possesses an homogeneous interior, the subsequent rebound consists merely of a cloud of microbubbles.

Hanschke D., Danilewsky A., Helfen L., Hamann E., Baumbach T.

in Physical Review Letters, 119 (2017), 215504. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.215504


© 2017 American Physical Society. Correlated x-ray diffraction imaging and light microscopy provide a conclusive picture of three-dimensional dislocation arrangements on the micrometer scale. The characterization includes bulk crystallographic properties like Burgers vectors and determines links to structural features at the surface. Based on this approach, we study here the thermally induced slip-band formation at prior mechanical damage in Si wafers. Mobilization and multiplication of preexisting dislocations are identified as dominating mechanisms, and undisturbed long-range emission from regenerative sources is discovered.

Farago T., Mikulik P., Ershov A., Vogelgesang M., Hanschke D., Baumbach T.

in Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 24 (2017) 1283-1295. DOI:10.1107/S1600577517012255


© International Union of Crystallography, 2017. An open-source framework for conducting a broad range of virtual X-ray imaging experiments, syris, is presented. The simulated wavefield created by a source propagates through an arbitrary number of objects until it reaches a detector. The objects in the light path and the source are time-dependent, which enables simulations of dynamic experiments, e.g. four-dimensional time-resolved tomography and laminography. The high-level interface of syris is written in Python and its modularity makes the framework very flexible. The computationally demanding parts behind this interface are implemented in OpenCL, which enables fast calculations on modern graphics processing units. The combination of flexibility and speed opens new possibilities for studying novel imaging methods and systematic search of optimal combinations of measurement conditions and data processing parameters. This can help to increase the success rates and efficiency of valuable synchrotron beam time. To demonstrate the capabilities of the framework, various experiments have been simulated and compared with real data. To show the use case of measurement and data processing parameter optimization based on simulation, a virtual counterpart of a high-speed radiography experiment was created and the simulated data were used to select a suitable motion estimation algorithm; one of its parameters was optimized in order to achieve the best motion estimation accuracy when applied on the real data. syris was also used to simulate tomographic data sets under various imaging conditions which impact the tomographic reconstruction accuracy, and it is shown how the accuracy may guide the selection of imaging conditions for particular use cases.The flexible and efficient framework syris is presented and its capabilities for the simulation of four-dimensional X-ray imaging experiments are demonstrated by two exemplary applications.

Gasilov S., Mittone A., Dos Santos Rolo T., Polyakov S., Zholudev S., Terentyev S., Blank V., Bravin A., Baumbach T.

in Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 24 (2017) 1137-1145. DOI:10.1107/S1600577517012772


© International Union of Crystallography, 2017. In this work a double-crystal setup is employed to study compound refractive lenses made of single-crystal diamond. The point spread function of the lens is calculated taking into account the lens transmission, the wavefront aberrations, and the ultra-small-angle broadening of the X-ray beam. It is shown that, similarly to the wavefront aberrations, the ultra-small-angle scattering effects can significantly reduce the intensity gain and increase the focal spot size. The suggested approach can be particularly useful for the characterization of refractive X-ray lenses composed of many tens of unit lenses.A double-crystal setup is used to quantify aberrations and to assess the influence of ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering on the optical properties of a single-crystal diamond compound refractive lens.

Gasilov S., Dos Santos Rolo T., Mittone A., Polyakov S., Terentyev S., Farago T., Blank V., Bravin A., Baumbach T.

in Optics Express, 25 (2017) 25090-25097. DOI:10.1364/OE.25.025090


© 2017 Optical Society of America. Quality of a refractive compound X-ray lens can be limited by imperfections in surfaces of unit lenses and stacking precision. In general case both the lens transmission and optical aberrations define properties of a beam in the lens exit plane; together they can be expressed in terms of the generalized pupil function. In this work we measure this function for a diamond single crystal compound refractive lens. Consequently, we apply the pupil function to evaluate the performance of the examined compound refractive X-ray lens. A number of practically important conclusions can be drawn from such analysis.

Kopmann A., Chilingaryan S., Vogelgesang M., Dritschler T., Shkarin A., Shkarin R., Dos Santos Rolo T., Farago T., Van De Kamp T., Balzer M., Caselle M., Weber M., Baumbach T.

in 2016 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference and Room-Temperature Semiconductor Detector Workshop, NSS/MIC/RTSD 2016, 2017-January (2017), 8069895. DOI:10.1109/NSSMIC.2016.8069895


© 2016 IEEE. New imaging stations aim for high spatial and temporal resolution and are characterized by ever increasing sampling rates and demanding data processing workflows. Key to successful imaging experiments is to open up high-performance computing resources. This includes carefully selected components for computing hardware and development of advanced imaging algorithms optimized for efficient use of parallel processor architectures. We present the novel UFO computing platform for online data processing for imaging experiments and image-based feedback. The platform handles the full data life cycle from the X-ray detector to long-term data archives. Core components of this system are an FPGA platform for ultra-fast data acquisition, the GPU-based UFO image processing framework, and the fast control system “Concert”. Reconstruction algorithms implemented in the UFO framework are optimized for the latest GPU architectures and provide a reconstruction throughput in the GB/s-range. The control system “Concert” integrates high-speed computing nodes and fast beamline devices and thus enables image-based control loops and advanced workflow automation for efficient beam time usage. Low latencies are ensured by direct communication between FPGA and GPUs using AMDs DirectGMA technology. Time resolved tomography is supported by cutting edge regularization methods for high quality reconstructions with a reduced number of projections. The new infrastructure at ANKA has dramatically accelerated tomography from hours to second and resulted in new application fields, like high-throughput tomography, pump-probe radiography and stroboscopic tomography. Ultra-fast X-ray cine-tomography for the first time allows one to observe internal dynamics of moving millimeter-sized objects in real-time.

Karpov D., Liu Z., Rolo T.D.S., Harder R., Balachandran P.V., Xue D., Lookman T., Fohtung E.

in Nature Communications, 8 (2017), 280. DOI:10.1038/s41467-017-00318-9


© 2017 The Author(s). Topological defects of spontaneous polarization are extensively studied as templates for unique physical phenomena and in the design of reconfigurable electronic devices. Experimental investigations of the complex topologies of polarization have been limited to surface phenomena, which has restricted the probing of the dynamic volumetric domain morphology in operando. Here, we utilize Bragg coherent diffractive imaging of a single BaTiO3 nanoparticle in a composite polymer/ferroelectric capacitor to study the behavior of a three-dimensional vortex formed due to competing interactions involving ferroelectric domains. Our investigation of the structural phase transitions under the influence of an external electric field shows a mobile vortex core exhibiting a reversible hysteretic transformation path. We also study the toroidal moment of the vortex under the action of the field. Our results open avenues for the study of the structure and evolution of polar vortices and other topological structures in operando in functional materials under cross field configurations.

Onelli O.D., Kamp T.V.D., Skepper J.N., Powell J., Rolo T.D.S., Baumbach T., Vignolini S.

in Scientific Reports, 7 (2017), 1373. DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-01496-8


© 2017 The Author(s). Structural colours in living organisms have been observed and analysed in a large number of species, however the study of how the micro- A nd nano-scopic natural structures responsible of such colourations develop has been largely ignored. Understanding the interplay between chemical composition, structural morphology on multiple length scales, and mechanical constraints requires a range of investigation tools able to capture the different aspects of natural hierarchical architectures. Here, we report a developmental study of the most widespread strategy for structural colouration in nature: The cuticular multilayer. In particular, we focus on the exoskeletal growth of the dock leaf beetle Gastrophysa viridula, capturing all aspects of its formation: The macroscopic growth is tracked via synchrotron microtomography, while the submicron features are revealed by electron microscopy and light spectroscopy combined with numerical modelling. In particular, we observe that the two main factors driving the formation of the colour-producing multilayers are the polymerization of melanin during the ecdysis and the change in the layer spacing during the sclerotisation of the cuticle. Our understanding of the exoskeleton formation provides a unique insight into the different processes involved during metamorphosis.

Reich S., Schonfeld P., Wagener P., Letzel A., Ibrahimkutty S., Gokce B., Barcikowski S., Menzel A., dos Santos Rolo T., Plech A.

in Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 489 (2017) 106-113. DOI:10.1016/j.jcis.2016.08.030


© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Pulsed laser ablation in liquids (PLAL) is a multiscale process, involving multiple mutually interacting phenomena. In order to synthesize nanoparticles with well-defined properties it is important to understand the dynamics of the underlying structure evolution. We use visible-light stroboscopic imaging and X-ray radiography to investigate the dynamics occurring during PLAL of silver and gold on a macroscopic scale, whilst X-ray small angle scattering is utilized to deepen the understanding on particle genesis. By comparing our results with earlier reports we can elucidate the role of the cavitation bubble. We find that symmetry breaking at the liquid-solid interface is a critical factor for bubble motion and that the bubble motion acts on the particle distribution as confinement and retraction force to create secondary agglomerates.