Advanced Photon Source

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X-rays: The Key to Materials Engineering


X-rays: The Key to Materials EngineeringFrom Argonne Today

Researchers using the X-ray Science Division 34-ID-E beamline at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne Advanced Photon Source (APS) are exploring the use of X-rays as a key path to integrated computational materials engineering.

Synchrotron-based X-ray microscopy is rapidly emerging as the standard for nondestructive three-dimensional characterization of materials structure at the macro-, meso- and nanoscales.


The ultimate dream of materials science is to predict materials behavior from composition and processing history. Owing to the growing power of computers, this long-time dream has recently found expression through worldwide excitement in a number of computation-based thrusts: integrated computational materials engineering, materials by design, computational materials design, three-dimensional materials physics and mesoscale physics.

However, real materials have important crystallographic structures at multiple length scales, which evolve during processing and in service. Moreover, real materials properties can depend on the extreme tails in their structural and chemical distributions. This makes it critical to map structural distributions with sufficient resolution to resolve small structures and with sufficient statistics to capture the tails of distributions.


Gene Ice, “Are X-rays the Key to Integrated Computational Materials Engineering?” The International Union of Crystallography Journal (IUCrJ), Vol. 2, Part 6, pp. 605-606, DOI: 10.1107/S205225251501951X, Published Online November 3, 2015.

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