The Nanofocus extension became operational as ID13's third experimental hutch (EH3) at the beginning of February 2007. This saw several user experiments successfully carried out in the new extension. However, final commissioning of EH3 will not take place until delivery of the new diffractometer. When fully operational, EH3 will be a dedicated nanofocus facility, offering sub-µm monochromatic X-ray beams in the energy range 12-13 keV as a matter of routine. A pink beam option will be added later. The target beam size once established will be 50 nm or less.



The availability of nano-focussed X-ray beams on the ID13 beamline will open up many new avenues of research. Whilst existing scanning X-ray SAXS/WAXS studies will be enhanced by the higher spatial resolution available, one can expect that highly coherent nano-beams will find complementary diffraction and imaging applications. In addition, many experiments will also benefit from the higher flux density available for microscopic sample volumes.

EH3 will offer an ultra-stable sample endstation with nm-resolution translation and tilt options. An integrated rotation axis will allow single-crystal and texture experiments. It will also provide solutions to the problems associated with visualising (and aligning) microscopic samples. This includes the development of complementary, integrated nano-tools, calibrated to the X-ray beam's position. The challenges of preparing and isolating such small samples will be met by micromanipulation and laser-cutting equipment accessible to users on-site. The use of dedicated beamline software will also help ensure the most efficient use of experimental beam time.

The final commissioning of EH3 will herald the start of a new era for ID13. As an innovative experimental tool, nano-beams will give a new insight into many materials with nm-sized heterogeneities. They will also ensure that ID13 remains at the cutting edge of science.


The new extension laboratory


Inside the EH3 hutch


Inside the EH3 control cabin