Pioneer of X-ray correlation spectroscopy receives award


The Advanced Photon Source has presented an award for ‘important scientific accomplishment’ to Gerhard Grübel, who was for 11 years responsible for ID10. Grübel receives the prize, along with his collaborators, for the invention of X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy. Gerhard Grübel installed the first XPCS station in Europe at the ESRF.

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The former ESRF scientist, who set up the ID10 (Troïka) beamline, is one of the three recipients of the Compton award for 2009. This prize, given by the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory, USA, recognises his achievement in installing and developing X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS), at the ESRF in the nineties. It is today the main tool for research at the ID10A station, attracting users from both the soft- and hard condensed matter communities.  This technique allows researchers to study slow dynamics on lengths well below 200 nm in materials such as molten polymer films, colloidal suspensions and membranes.

Grübel moved on to HASYLAB in 2004 where he is working on applying coherence techniques to X-rays from free electron laser sources. For developing new experimental methods, he also uses the coherence techniques he pioneered to conduct research in materials such as complex fluids and, most recently, glasses and magnetic systems.

Despite his absence, the Troïka beamline is still going strong. Anders Madsen, responsible for ID10, described the current state of the facility: “It is fully optimized for XPCS and coherent X-ray scattering, and new applications continue to emerge due to the steady increase in flux and the better detector technology we have experienced lately. This benefits our faithful user community and collaborators, including Gerhard Grübel’s group in Hamburg.” 

Further information: The Advanced Photon Source’s announcement of the Compton Award

Top image: Gerhard Grübel