Physics

New devices to control X-rays are less expensive, faster to make

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a less expensive and more efficient way of controlling x-ray beams used to study the intricate details of batteries, solar cells, proteins and all manner of materials. The new beam-shaping devices, invented by Brookhaven mechanical engineer Sushil Sharma, can be made from a single piece of copper, which dramatically reduces the time and complexity of their construction – and their cost. It's no wonder that x-ray light sources around the world, including Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), are beginning to choose the new designs over their more complex and expensive predecessors.