Sheffield University’s Dainton Building has become home to UK’s first liquid Gallium Small Angle X-ray scattering instrument.
With this new technology, because the X-ray beam is about 100 times more intense than the one produced by the preceding equipment, scientists can scan objects on nanolevel in great detail.
That also means that instead of taking several hours to get the results, the analysis of a sample will only take several minutes.
Previously, experiments that needed such technology were conducted in France and Germany, where one had to book months in advance. And in science as Dr Oleksandr Mykhaylyk, supervisor of the laboratory hosting the new instrument and lecturer in polymers and crystalisation at the university said, time is of the essence as one needs to be very cautious and precise with the calculations. He also points out that the new addition to the laboratory is even more advanced than the ones abroad.
Scientists from the various departments and other universities that are part of the N8 research partnership will be able to book their time and use the instrument, without the massive delays of months.
While there are no big experiments to be conducted there any time soon, Dr Mykhaylyk stresses the fact that the precise measurement of objects is what is going to matter and that is of no small significance.
The whole project cost more than £2m and was funded by the The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPSR), and the University.