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Application of Synchrotron Radiation in Nanoscience

The central paradigm in materials science is that a materials property is determined by the structure of the material. In other words, we have to understand the structure to understand the properties. X-ray scattering is one of the most powerful tools to study the atomic structure of matter at the nanoscale.

The brightest sources of X-rays are huge accelerator complexes, so-called Synchrotron Light Sources, which due to their size and cost are operated as national or even international collaborations. Access to the extremely intense radiation from these facilities has transformed many scientific fields. Here we focus on three techniques to study structure at the nanoscale; powder diffraction, total scattering and small angle X-ray scattering. 

In this course you will learn how these massive machines work, how to design an X-ray scattering experiment and how to apply for beamtime. You will also receive hands on training at two state-of-the-art beamlines at the PETRAIII synchrotron in Hamburg, Germany.

Find full course description in the course catalogue.   


The course is divided in two parts:

Part I: The theory and principles behind synchrotron radiation, the specific techniques, and the data analysis will be presented in a number of on-line lectures and on-line exercises.

Part II: This part of the course will be held at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg from Sunday August 18th to Friday August 23rd. During this week the students will perform experiments at two state-of-the-art beamlines at the PETRA III synchrotron. Different experiments will be performed for structural characterization of nanoparticle samples. The data collected during the experiments will be analyzed during workshop sessions.


Dorota Koziej, UHH

Ann-Christin Dippel, DESY


Take-home assignment to be handed in online after the course ends.

Admission Requirements

Course Specific:

A relevant bachelor's degree within Science and Technology.


Exchange students: nomination from your home university

Freemovers: documentation for English Langauge proficiency

You can read more about admission here

Course Coordinator

Mads Ry Vogel Jørgensen

Assistant Research Professor