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Enhancement and use of synchroton radiation facilities at Daresbury


- New approaches were introduced to characterise the kinetics of cross-bridge cycling during muscle contraction. Results showed that only some 2% of all cross-bridges occupy the force generating states during high-speed shortening.

- Research was conducted on the kinetic and structural effects of anti-tumour drugs on tubulin assembly. X-ray solution scattering enabled assemblies of tubulin-GTP, the active form of the protein, and tubulin-GDP, the usually inactive form, to be modelled to 3nm resolution.

- A large number of protein structures were studied, with the aim of following reactions as they occur inside the protein crystal. These long-term projects, which are continuing, consist of cytochromes, flavodoxin, lectins, phosphorylase, the oncogene product H-ras P21, and tRNA-synthetase.

- Some experiments used the novel image-plate technology available at this facility to refine high-resolution powder patterns of HgTe collected under pressure using a diamond anvil cell. The experiments revealed for the first time the pressure dependence of the complex intermediate cinnabar structure of HgTe.

- Methods were developed to extract Debye-Scherrer patterns from diffraction profiles dominated by the intense diffuse scattering from a glassy matrix. Identifying such crystalline phases in glass is a prerequisite for developing glass ceramics with specific properties.

- One group exploited in situ Small Angle X-ray Scattering to detect the intermolecular spacing of liquid crystal polymers. By introducing flexible aliphatic spacers, the temperatures of the polymers can be reduced to allow use in moulding and spinning applications.

- To create materials with tailored catalytic and separation properties, one research group successfully used X-ray absorption fine structure techniques to better understand the stages of pillared materials preparation. An essential step to understanding evolving structural chemistry.

- The study of dopants such as Ga, As and Sb in crystalline and amorphous silicon with X-ray absorption fine structure using glancing angles and fluorescence detection, was a technique developed at this facility.
A total of 93 research groups from 10 EU Member States have been supported through this contract. These research groups comprised 378 scientists of whom at least half were doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and who collectively represent 19% of the total SRS user community. This project allocated a total of 23,352 station hours of beam time, representing 7% of all SRS facility time during the same period.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Polaris House North Star Avenue
SN2 1ET Swindon
United Kingdom