X-ray scattering to study nanostructures of solids and food

01 May 2018 → 30 April 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other chemical sciences
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural animal production
    • Food sciences and (bio)technology
food nanostructure
Project description

Everything that surround us is made out of building blocks. Their configuration and the manner in which they connect to each other determines the characteristics of a system (material or food). For instance, it determines their color, hardness, melting point, performance and stability. The length scale of these building blocks is in the nanoscale and can be studied by X-ray scattering. Scattering techniques are non-invasive; therefore, the systems can be studied without destruction. This characteristic is an added value since it allows to study the evolution of the systems (crystallization, catalysis, gelation, aggregation, etc). X-ray scattering can be used in two modes: wide angle (WAXS) for structures from 0.1 to 10 nm and small angle (SAXS) for structures from 1 to 10 nm. X-ray scattering is a tool useful to study the nanostructure of a wide range of applications, such as polymers and fibers, thin films, concrete, whipped cream, etc. This characteristic opens the possibility to cooperate with research groups with diverse applications. This proposal includes the upgrade of an existing WAXS equipment and the acquisition of a dedicated SAXS equipment with capability of studying surfaces (GISAXS). Seven promotors from five research groups belonging to three different faculties are submitting this proposal. Working in a consortium with partners with expertise in structure analysis, guarantees the use of the equipment in its full capacity and promotes exchange of knowledge.