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ERC Starting Grant to NanoLund

Photo of Pablo Villanueva Perez, ERC Starting Grant awardee 2020.
Less damage is done to samples studied in X-ray microscopes – when rotating is not required. This technique will be developed by Pablo Villanueva Perez from NanoLund, ERC Starting Grant awardee 2020, and his team.

NanoLund’s affiliated member Pablo Villanueva Perez from Synchrotron Radiation Physics has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant for the project Probing MHz processes in 3D with X-ray microscopy.

The ERC project aims to develop a novel X-ray microscope capable of filming processes in 3D, at least 100 times faster than up-to-date 3D X-ray imaging techniques.

Today, this is done with microtomography (μCT) by irradiating a rotating sample with X-ray so that it is hit from different directions. In recent years, the technology has been refined as the X-ray sources, detectors and 3D algorithms have become better. But one problem remains: The samples still need to be rotated, which can lead to damage or, worst case scenario, destruction. Therefore, Pablo Villanueva Perez, together with a research team, will develop a new X-ray microscope that does not require rotating samples. This should be done by splitting and manipulating X-rays into a variety of angled light sources that illuminate the samples simultaneously.

– I will use the new microscope to study fundamental processes in cellulose, which is a renewable material. My hope in the long run is to produce an environmentally friendly material that can replace plastic, says Pablo Villanueva Perez.

Read more (in Swedish) about the ERC starting grants given to Lund University researchers.

The Swedish Research Council about the ERC starting grants