Practically all experimental possibilities that are available at synchrotron radiation sources
have been used successfully for many types of questions in materials sciences: mainly X-ray scattering
at small and wide angles, X-ray absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, EXAFS, XANES or reflectometry
for analysis of outer and interior interfaces, which are hardly accessible by other techniques. In a number
of conferences, for example "Synchrotron Radiation in Materials Science", the contributions came from
practically all fields of material sciences: catalysts, ceramics, superconductors, glasses, polymers,
materials for microelectronics, studies of surfaces and interfaces, magnetic materials, metals and alloys, semiconductors.
It has shown to be essential to many questions to be able to conduct such experiments with high X-ray flux also
in situ dependant on variable parameters.
Especially important for materials sciences is the continuous energy spectrum of synchrotron radiation,
which reaches up into the high energetic 300 keV-area. It allows X-ray structure analysis with X-ray energies
in the area of absorption edges of single chosen elements. In this way, the structure contributions of these
elements can be studied isolated. The anomalous scattering of these elements is used for contrast variation.
When using synchrotron radiation from third generation sources like ESRF, APS and Spring-8, due to high
brilliance of the beam, nanostructured materials (e.g. in microelectronics) can be studied with highly focussed
radiation (few μm). For materials research, this scanning technique can be combined with experimental techniques
like XANES, XRD or micro tomography and to use it element specifically. The extension of experimental techniques
into the area of high X-ray energies allows the study of thick samples without any significant absorption loss.
It is anticipated that this trend will continue at future sources with high flux and high radiation brilliance.
It has turned out that a stable beam position is especially important for most experiments. This is necessary, if the
instruments are to be used by non-specialized personnel in automatically controlled measurement procedures.
This, together with beamtime accessibility on short notice, is a prerequisite for industrial applications.
Source: KFS-Broschüre "Forschung mit Synchrotronstrahlung in Deutschland"
Brochure "A Light for Industry" (ESRF)
Metallic components are subject to considerable mechanical stress during manufacture and throughout their operating
life. These stresses cause deformation strain and fatigue of the component which affect its performance and can lead to
failure. In the aerospace, automotive and construction industries, it is essential to have a perfect knowledge of the
stress/strain relationships in many components which are critical for safety and service lifetimes. X-ray strain measurement
in scanning mode, which is a well-adapted tool for stress analysis, provides this understanding.