Using inelastic neutron scattering to understand the local structure and vibrational dynamics in proton conducting oxides for sustainable energy technologies

Proton conducting oxides, and in particular acceptor doped BaZrO3, are materials of great interest because of their huge potential as electrolyte in several energy related technologies, such as hydrogen sensors, membrane reactors, steam electrolyzers, and intermediate-temperature (200 – 500 °C) solid oxide fuel cells. A key requirement for the electrolyte is a high proton conductivity […]

Interactions between Model Cell Membranes and the Neuroactive Drug Propofol

Many low molecular weight drugs, like classical surfactants, contain both hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups. However, due to their lower molecular weight and less distinct separation into hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions, the self-assembly of such drugs in aqueous solutions is less easy to describe in general terms. To gain more understanding of the interaction between such […]

How AstraZeneca can improve lipid nanoparticle formulations for gene delivery using neutron scattering

In recent year, new therapeutic modalities involving delivery of biological molecules such as RNA, peptides and oligonucleotides have shown promising results to treat diseases that are currently hard to tackle with standard small molecules approaches. As an example, last year Alnylam announced the first therapy using small interference RNA (siRNA) approved by the Federal Drug […]

Neutrons used to probe magnetism in three dimensional magnetic data storage elements

The transition from the current two-dimensional data storage and logic schemes to three-dimensional data structures could significantly improve the performance and capacity of electronic devices. Instead of simply storing and manipulating data in a two-dimensional array of elements, one can envisage stacking data bits on top of each other, thus greatly enhancing the data density. […]

Swelling of Thin Graphene Oxide Films Studied by in Situ Neutron Reflectivity

Multilayered Graphene Oxide (GO) materials such as membranes and thin films are known for their potential for selective ion permeation, nano-filtration, water desalination and gas barrier properties. Many recent studies have aimed at demonstration of selective permeation of certain ions and molecules through GO membranes. Membrane tests were demonstrated to be successful for relatively thin […]

Using neutron reflectivity to elucidate electro-responsiveness of interfacial layers of ionic liquids and their solutions

Ionic liquids (ILs) have been identified as promising replacements for conventional lubricants. Their ionic nature and wide electrochemical windows present a new horizon for electrical energy storage solutions and tribotronic lubrication, whereby the friction coefficient is controllable though use of an electric field. However, due to the high production costs the commercialisation of IL lubricants […]

Structure and Dynamics of Non-Lamellar Lipid Bilayers at Interfaces, Implication in Biomembrane Organisation and Drug Delivery Applications

Lipids are the main components of cellular membranes. The main building blocks of the membranes that surround cells are lipid mixtures that form lamellar phases. However, lipids have a rich phase behaviour ranging from micellar, hexagonal or cubic to lamellar and, further, to the reversed counterparts, which are also utilised in many biological systems. The […]

Seeing the lithium inside your phone – Neutron scattering to follow real-time processes in energy storage devices

Rapid growing demands on electric-power based automotive transportation, grid applications and electronic devices require development of sustainable rechargeable batteries. This also arises from an urgent need to decrease CO2 emissions and to implement renewable energies into society. Unfortunately, improvements to battery materials has been slow and discovery of new materials with improved properties even slower. […]

Neutron scattering aids in understanding atherosclerotic plaque build-up – a game of hide and seek

Experimental set-up

Why is it so that individuals with good cholesterol values develop cardiovascular disease, whilst other individuals with poor values remain healthy? Cholesterol and other fats are transported through the blood via specific transporters called lipoproteins. The most well-known are the so called “good” and “bad” cholesterol. Understanding these particles in structure and composition and the way they interact with artery wall is crucial in understanding this disease, the main killer of the West. Such knowledge would aid in improving diagnostic tools as well as in development of new drugs.

Neutrons to study the interplay between aquaporins and porous silica in water treatment

Professor Martin Andersson (Chalmers) — Today, water purification typically includes a size-exclusion based filter that is specialized in removing a certain number of common water pollutants. But these filters do not remove all the pollutants present in water. So why not develop a filter that produces clean water regardless of pollutant? Guess what – nature already did.