InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging (IRENI) Facility at the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC)
The SRC and Carol Hirschmugl (UW-Milwaukee) have designed, constructed and commissioned a new mid-infrared beamline (IRENI). This new facility provides the opportunity to obtain chemical images with diffraction-limited (or better) resolution in minutes.
From the earliest experiments with optical microscopes, researchers have examined the appearance of microbes and other microscopic plants and animals. Beyond the visual appearance of these structures, knowledge of their chemical makeup would provide great insight into how these sub-cellular structures function in a living cell. Moreover, tracking the changes in their chemical makeup would allow scientists to understand the organism's response to changing environmental conditions. The development of a chemically sensitive infrared microscope with multiple, parallel detection channels will greatly expand the ability to examine such biological structures and to track their changes over minutes.
Why this instrument is important:The development of this chemically sensitive infrared microscope will greatly expand the ability to examine such biological structures, and to track changes over minutes, a revolution in synchrotron-enabled science. This microscope is available for the entire SRC user community across a wide array of disciplines (e.g. soft matter condensed physics, nanoscience, biology, chemistry, veterinary science, engineering, environmental science and geology). In the case of Hirschmugl's own work, initial research projects will include examining kinetics of living cells (phytoplankton), fungi and bacteria-mineral interactions—studies that may provide insights into applications including biodiesel or even pharmaceuticals.
Technical Details: This facility will extract 320 hor. × 25 vert. mrads2 to homogeneously illuminate a commercial IR microscope equipped with an infrared Focal Plane Array detector. The swath of radiation from the SRC is extracted as 12 beams and recombined into a 3 × 4 bundle of beams that is refocused onto a sample plane of an infrared microscope illuminating 40 × 60 micron2 sample area. This new facility will provide the opportunity to obtain chemical images with diffraction-limited (or better) resolution in minutes.
SRC Users' Meeting Abstract
Infrared Environmental Imaging (IRENI): First Light, Michael Nasse et Al, 2008 SRC Users' Meeting, October 26-27, 2008
IRENI (Infrared Environmental Imaging) Beamline: First Light and Commissioning, August 13, 2008
Synchrotron Radiation News
An article about IRENI appeared In the November/December 2008 issue of Synchrotron Radiation News. IRENI was showcased on the front cover of that issue.
(click on image for high resolution image)
Caption: The photo shows part of a MRI funded facility designed by the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC, UW-Madison) and Carol Hirschmugl (UW-Milwaukee) and constructed at the SRC. Synchrotron radiation (light emitted from electrons traveling close to the speed of light) illuminates twenty four mirrors for IRENI (InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging). The mirrors are designed to collect the swath of visible and infrared radiation from the synchrotron and recombine it into a collimated bundle of twelve beams. The collimated bundle of beams is then used with a commercial infrared microscope equipped with a CCD-like infrared camera, which allows, high-resolution (about 1 micron) chemical images of living biological samples in minutes.