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The University of Southampton

Southampton Diffraction Centre and CT Imaging Centre launch

Published: 16 September 2011

Southampton’s X-ray Diffraction and CT imaging capabilities officially launched today, and delegates from a wide range of disciplines at the University joined the Vice Chancellor and Southampton chemistry alumnus, John Denham MP, to celebrate.

Southampton’s diffraction facilities are already enhancing the work of academics working in the fields of chemistry, medicine and biological sciences and are enabling the increasing growth of collaborators, particularly in the Life Sciences areas. A wide range of instrumentation, covering both single crystal (chemical and macromolecular equipment) and powder diffraction, are available to University academics who are working in multidisciplinary fields, as well as the external commercial and industrial community.

Diffraction is concerned with the scattering of beams of X-rays from crystals. Analysis of these scattered rays can provide information about the structure and arrangement of its atoms and molecules, and can evaluate suitability for use in a range of applications such as, catalysts, pharmaceutical drug candidates, sensors, organic electronics, enzymes and proteins.

Southampton’s world-class facilities represent over £4M of investment in state-of-the-art crystallographic science within the University and include the most powerful instrument of its type ever built.

The Southampton Diffraction centre includes the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) National Crystallography Service, a unique and state-of the art facility, set up at the University of Southampton to support and develop research excellence in chemistry, biochemistry and the physical sciences over the next five years.
Dr Simon Coles says: “We are delighted to launch the Southampton Diffraction Centre. I am particularly proud of our new world leading facilities and look forward to collaborating with a broad range of the academic community both in Southampton, nationally and internationally on the most demanding problems that they have to offer.”

The X-ray diffraction facility simultaneously launched with another Southampton centre supported by the EPSRC, the µ-VIS (‘Micro-Vis’) X-ray Imaging Centre. µ-VIS, which operates in conjunction with the Southampton Diffraction Centre, supports a range of high resolution and large-scale computed tomography systems. These enable the internal structures of objects (essentially densitometric data) to be studied at resolutions down to ~200nm, supporting a diverse research portfolio, including biomedical sciences, structural engineering, archaeology and the environmental sciences.

 L-R: Professor Phil Gale, Professor Don Nutbeam, Dr Simon Coles, John Denham MP
The Southampton Diffraction Centre

We are delighted to launch the Southampton Diffraction Centre and look forward to collaborating with a broad range of the academic community both in Southampton, nationally and internationally.

Dr Simon Coles - Director, EPSRC National Crystallography Service
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