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The development of a high brightness, high efficiency laboratory based SAXS-WAXS (small and wide-angle x-ray scattering) beamline for high throughput characterization of biopolymers and nanostructures is presented. The instrument, incorporating the most advanced x-ray source and detector technologies, is developed for the BioPACIFIC Materials Innovation Platform ( for rapid discovery and speedy development of new high-performance materials.

A 70keV liquid metal jet x-ray source provides the world’s brightest beam in a laboratory, and a 4 mega-pixel hybrid photon counting detector provides the highest data collection efficiency from weakly scattering samples. The optical design of the instrument features enhanced scatterless beam collimation for parasitic scattering suppression and a fully automated diffracted beam detection module housed inside vacuum. The sample environment provides capabilities for in-situ studies utilizing temperature, flow, and strain. A python-based custom designed graphical user interface (GUI) is optimized for rapid measurement turn around as well as versatility to suit a wide range of applications.

Preliminary results on rapid characterization of bio-derived polymers and automated cellular structures have demonstrated a performance level comparable to a 2nd generation synchrotron beamline. The BioPACIFIC MIP is funded by an NSF cooperative agreement (DMR-1933487).

This webinar is 40 minutes followed by a 5 minute Q&A.

The lab-based SAXS-WAXS instrument with a performance level comparable to a 2nd generation synchrotron beamline.

Watch the build-up of the lab-based beamline at the BioPACIFIC MIP.


Dr. Youli Li

Dr. Li is a research professor and the technical director of the central x-ray diffraction facility in the Materials Research Laboratory and BioPACIFIC Materials Innovation Platform at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include developing methods, instrumentation, and applications for advanced x-ray diffraction characterization of materials. Dr. Li is the inventor of the scatterless x-ray slit technology which has become widely used in laboratory and synchrotron based small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) instruments. Dr. Li’s research work has contributed to the application of x-ray diffraction in a broad range of nanostructured materials, including structural composites, semiconductor epitaxial structures, biological assemblies, and polymers.

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