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Sample environments

Sample environments create the experimental conditions for studying materials phenomenon and their dynamics over time. Identify a suitable sample environment may be the key to making the most of the real time in situ/operando measurement capabilities at PETRA III Swedish Materials Science beamline for your particular research. This page therefore provides useful links to various loan pools that together offer up to 40 sample environments at PETRA III. This page also catalogues, according to experimental areas, the 15 sample environments that have proven their use at the Swedish Materials Science beamline. For each sample environment, you'll find examples of the research they enable as well as links to specifications, the owner and reference articles.

More than 40 sample environments are available

There are up to 40 sample environments available from various load pools at PETRA III or at the Swedish Materials Science beamline. There are also additional sample environments that research groups have specially designed and constructed for particular types of research.

Generic sample environments

You can look for current lists of sample environments that are:

  • Stationed at the Swedish beamline's P21.1 branch at this DESY site
  • Stationed at the Swedish beamline's P21.2 branch by contacting the beamline staff at this DESY site
  • Available from the loan pool "Sample Environment and Extreme Conditions Science Infrastructure (ECSI)" at this DESY site
  • Available from the loan pool "DESY Nanolab Sample environments" at this DESY site . Note DESY Nanolab also assists with sample preparation. Contact DESY's Dr Vedran Vonk

Sample environments with demonstrated use at the Swedish Materials Science beamline

At the Swedish Materials Science beamline, around 15 sample environments have already been used, or can potentially be used with minor modifications. Some of these are from the above loan pools. Some are owned by research groups.

With the intent of aiding researchers to identify a suitable sample environment, we have classified these sample environments according to the experimental areas of Thermal treatments, Electro chemistry, Mechanical response of materials, Levitation, Catalysis and Thin film deposition. Under each of these categories, you'll find one or more sample environments. Then, for each sample environment, you will find an overview of the research conducted using the sample environment as well as research articles, links to descriptions of the sample environment's technical specifications, and a link to the sample environment's owner.


UFO chamber mini reactor

The UFO chamber mini reactor is a high pressure reaction chamber (up to 50 bar) for conducting operando studies. It has been used to research the carbide formation on an iron-based catalysts.


Reactor cell

This reactor cell has been used to follow the complex mechanisms of cobalt oxides as well as Co nanoparticles synthetisation in an organic solvent, and study the evolution of CoO nano-assemblies in solution.

Magnetic cryostat

The magnet cryostat is dedicated to the investigation of single crystals, pre-aligned on sample holder for scattering on horizontal plane, with access to +/- 10 degrees of scattering angles parallel and perpendicular to the field direction. In Materials science it has been used for investigations of the quantum Hall effect on ZrTe5 semimetal.

Microscope with integrated LED light source

This optical microscope can perform 2D Surface Optical Reflectance observations, and is suitable for conducting surface characterisation research studies such as thermal catalysis, electrocatalysis, and corrosion science.

Electrochemical cell with tensile load frame

This electrochemical cell within a tensile load frame has been used to study the lattice strain evolution during electrochemical hydrogen charging and mechanical loading of a duplex stainless steel.

Electrochemical flow cell

The Electrochemical flow cell has been used at both PETRA III and ESRF to follow the evolution of the aluminum oxide film thickness over time, and to study the anodic corrosion behavior of a single-crystalline film of IrO2.


Mobile ElectroMagnetic Levitation (EML) facility

This Mobile ElectroMagnetic Levitator has a flat-panel detector, high-frequency generator, induction coil, pyrometer and video camera laser and has been used to study the solidification of HEA and ternary alloys.

Aerodynamic Levitation (ADL) system

This levitation setup with lasers, pyrometer, high-speed camera, mass-flow controller, acoustic excitation system and levitation chamber enables studies of the solidification of 2mm diameter melt samples - during the cooling process - at cooling rates ranging between 300 K/s and 1 K/s.

Mechanical response of materials

Compact uniaxial load frame

Load frames are a standard lab tool, with in situ measurements offering the scope to provide new knowledge. One illustrative case is identifying deformation induced phase transformations. Another in situ example is assessing the lattice strain of different matrix phases and precipitates under various loads up to 5 kN.

Cutting tool X-cut

This sample environment has been used for measuring the stress and temperature at and below the cutting edge of a TiAlNbN coated WC-Co tool - while the tool was cutting carbon steel.

Thermal treatments

Fast current induced heating devices for ribbon / bulk materials

This device has been used to perform an in-situ XRD study of Cu-Zr-Al metallic glasses in order to map the phase evolution with respect to temperature.

Solvothermal capillary reactor

A capillary reactor designed for in situ studies of solvothermal reactions has been used to study High Entropy Alloys (HEA) in nanoparticle form for catalytic reactions.

Rotating furnace

This rotating furnace has been used to observe the difference in ferrite phase fraction in steel during isothermal holds by in-situ XRD. The rotation capability of the furnace can be used in order to average grains in diffracting condition and thus obtain clean powder pattern data.

Linkam furnaces

Linkam Furnaces can operate in a wide temperature range of 77 K up to 823 K with high precision of ±1 K - enabling temperature dependent characterisation of samples such as ceramics, alloys, high temperature polymers and geological fluid inclusions, with information capture via light microscopy, Raman and X-rays.

Thin film deposition

Magnetron sputtering and cathodic arc ultra-high vacuum deposition system

This sample environment has been used for assessing the growth of coatings on a substrate, and deposition in multilayer neutron mirrors.