The periodicity and symmetries of an atomic lattice define its electronic band structure and strongly influences the resulting physical properties, e.g. electron or phonon transport, light absorption or emission, anisotropic elasticity etc… Therefore the ability to precisely measure lattice strain and orientation is much needed by physicists and materials scientists. A large number of techniques have been developed to measure lattice strain and orientation, using different kinds of radiation (electrons, neutrons, visible and X-ray photons) and with different merits. In particular, the relatively recent development of new generation of X-ray sources such as synchrotrons or free electron lasers, and the inherent benefits of X-rays (capability to focus down to nanometers sizes, large probing depth, controllable polarization, large coherence length…) have spurred the development of innovative techniques as well as the improvement of existing ones much beyond their initial promises.
This talk will be dedicated to the X-ray techniques used on beamline BM32 (IF) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France and will be divided in two parts. The first part will deal with the recent developments of the micro-Laue diffraction instrument on the beamline. Laue diffraction was the first X-ray diffraction observed and understood, yet it is constantly improved and enhanced using additional features, such as energy resolution for full strain tensor resolution or depth resolution for 3D reconstruction.
The constant need for a finer comprehension of ever more complex physical mechanisms has also driven the development of operando studies, where materials are being studied in situ in functioning devices. This type of studies will be illustrated in the second part of the talk, in the field of energy materials using the example of the lithiation Si nanoparticles as electrodes for next-generation Li-ion batteries.