Photon Science at Uppsala University

There are many users of photon science at Uppsala University. Below is an incomplete list of our photon-science-related research:


Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics
Research on light-matter interactions at the atomic level for understanding and control of electronic properties for molecules and liquids, including structure and dynamics of biomolecular systems, and environmental molecular science, as well new functional materials for e.g. solar cells, batteries, photocatalysis and magnetism. Leading in the development of X-ray based methodology.


Structural biology
Research on structure and function of macromolecules and macromolecular complexes using X-ray crystallography as a main technique and small-angle X-ray scattering as a complement. Biological areas of interest include enzymes, drug design, protein-nucleic acid complexes, chaperone-assisted folding, aggregation, and assembly and antibiotic resistance.

Molecular Biophysics
Produced the scientific case in imaging that assured funding for the first X-ray free-electron lasers (the LCLS and the European XFEL). The Laboratory provides personnel and in-kind contributions for the construction and running of the European XFEL and the European Extreme Light Infrastructure, and are members of four User Consortia at the European XFEL:

Organismal biology
Phase contrast synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRµCT) is used to study fossil vertebrates, especially from the Silurian and Devonian periods (425-360 million years old). The scans are performed at Beamline ID19 of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. The use of phase contrast allows very subtle features in the bone, such as 'growth rings' reflecting the annual growth cycle, to be visualized. The scan data thus illuminate not only the anatomy of the animals but also their biology and mode of life.

Molecular Systems Biology
New optical methods are developed to study the dynamics of DNA-protein interactions at the level of single molecules in living cells. e.g. a confocal laser scanning system to track diffusing molecules at the microsecond time scale. By using bifunctional dye labelling of proteins and determining the polarisation of individual emitted photons with nanosecond time-stamps, changes in protein–DNA interactions on the microsecond time scale can be monitored. These methods make it possible to study chemistry as it happens on the molecular level inside the living cell.  

Engineering sciences

Solid State Physics
Performs research on magnetic materials, materials for energy efficiency and environmental applications, medical technology, and biomaterials. We utilize X-ray diffraction, X-ray reflectivity, Magneto-optic Kerr effect, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy, and UV-Vis-NIR-IR spectroscopy. Synchrotron based work involve X-ray magnetic circular dichroism, x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies. Future plans involve XMCD-PEEM, synchrotron based nano-scale imaging & spectroscopy, in situ PES and electronic structure studies of correlated and photo-responsive and materials.



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