Synchrotron radiation is a powerful tool for analytical purposes and for advanced fabrication, which has become indispensable in many disciplines such as the life sciences, materials science, environmental analysis, and micro/nano fabrication. Synchrotron radiation enables us to look into living organisms, man-made materials and advanced engineering components, in vivo, almost non-destructively, in situ, and with spatial and time resolution, revealing detailed structural, chemical, electronic, and magnetic properties.
The Singapore Synchrotron Light Source, SSLS, comprises a compact superconducting storage ring with 700 MeV electron energy and 4.5 Tesla magnetic field to produce synchrotron radiation with a characteristic photon energy of 1.47 keV and characteristic wavelength of 0.845 nm. The useful X-ray spectrum extends from about 10 keV down to the far infrared at wave numbers of less than 10 cm-1. While the flux is maximum in the soft X-ray and adjacent harder X-ray range, the roll off to harder photons is such that 10 keV is considered a practical limit, depending on the requirements of a specific experiment. At the other end of the spectrum, in the far infrared, the edge effect is used, that is, the source point is chosen at about half of the maximum bending field in the entrance region of one of the two superconducting dipoles and will provide high flux and brilliance throughout the whole infrared spectral range.
SSLS is a University-level Research Centre at the National University of Singapore, under the office of the Deputy President (Research &Technology), with activities involving local and international groups from many universities, research institutes, and industry. Since SSLS was commissioned in the year 1999, its scope of activities has evolved and broadened as the number of beam lines and users has increased. It currently has a R&D program featuring micro/nanofabrication, a variety of analytical applications, and the development of advanced synchrotron radiation instrumentation.
Micro/nanofabrication using deep X-ray lithography and the LIGA process is important in biotechnology, X-ray optics, microoptics, microfluidics, and gigascale microelectronic packaging.
Analytical applications are based on X-ray absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy and microscopy, phase contrast imaging, photoemission spectroscopy, and include surface, interface, and nanostructure studies, catalyst development, speciation of elements for environmental and materials science, characterization of molecules on surfaces and in the gas phase, and imaging biological and technological systems.
Advanced synchrotron radiation instrumentation
Our developments of advanced synchrotron radiation instrumentation are focused on the superconducting mini-undulator. The aim of this is to produce tunable brilliant light in the 2 to 50 eV spectral range for surface science and nanoscale microscopy.