The Puls ( Programma Utilizzazione Luce di Sincrotrone) synchrotron radiation laboratory started in 1976 as a collaboration programme between I.N.F.N. and C.N.R. The goal of the project was to build a laboratory to utilize the synchrotron radiation emission of a bending magnet of the storage ring Adone for spectroscopy experiments in the Ultra - Violet and X-ray spectral region.
The first experiments in the Puls laboratory started in 1979: X-ray absorption spectra, in the so called Xanes and Exafs regimes, on amorphous semiconductors as well as on Ziegler-Natta catalysts were measured. Since then about 600 experiments were carried out in roughly 120 weeks of beamtime dedicated to synchrotron radiation and 120 weeks used in a parasitic way. The scientific fall-out is demonstrated in about 400 scientific papers published by group members, to which a probably equivalent number of papers published by external users should be added. A total of approximately 500 external users came to the lab to carry out their experiments: most of them from Italian Universities; however a partecipation of about 10% of non-Italian researchers ensured an international level to Puls activity. Also a non negligible activity of industrial partners has to be remembered. Among them, Montedison contributed to the instrumentation of the X-ray beamline so gaining a preferential access to the facility to perform many studies on catalytic system of industrial interest; Fiat investigated the technological properties of many amorphous metallic alloys, to evaluate their usefulness in technological applications.
The research performed in the Puls facility spans in a wide range of fields; in physics mainly studies on the electronic and structural properties of surfaces, interphases, glasses and amorphous materials were performed. In chemistry catalytic problems were widely investigated; moreover studies on the gas phase reactivity and gas-solid interaction were performed. In biology the structure of active site in metallo-protein and the static and dynamic conformational structure of proteins were the aim of most experiments. Some attention was also paid to problems directly connected with every day life like pollution and dental caries.
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