Meeting report

XTOP 2004

Pruhonice, Czech Republic, September, 2004

[XTOP logo]The 7th Biennial Conference on High Resolution X–Ray Diffraction and Imaging – XTOP 2004 was held September 7–10, in the Congress Centre Floret in the Prague suburb of Pruhonice. Previous conferences were held in Switzerland (1990), Germany (1994), Italy (1996), Durham (1998), Poland (2000), and France (2002).

[Group photo]The conference covered a wide range of topics including theory of X-ray scattering, high-resolution X-ray diffraction, X-ray reflection, grazing-incidence scattering, X-ray scattering from thin films and nanostructures, X-ray topography, X-ray phase contrast imaging and other X-ray imaging techniques and instrumentation for all these methods. The Czech and Slovak Crystallographic Assn organized the meeting in cooperation with the Inst. of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Masaryk U., Brno and Charles U., Prague.

[Lang]Andrew Lang
XTOP 2004 featured pre-conference tutorial lectures presented by experts in the field: “Imaging with hard synchrotron radiation” (J. Härtwig, Grenoble), “High-resolution X-ray diffractometry: Determination of strain and composition” (J. Stangl, Linz), “X-ray grazing-incidence scattering from surfaces and nanostructures” (U. Pietsch, Potsdam) and “Hard X-ray optics” (J. Hrdy, Prague).

The scientific program was divided into 11 oral and 2 poster sessions. There were nine 45-minute invited talks, thirty-four 20-minute orals and 104 posters (displayed for the whole meeting).

The invited lectures included: “Coherent diffraction analysis of dislocation arrays in gesi thin films” (I. Robinson, Urbana), “X-ray scattering of nanostructured soft matter films” (W. de Jeu, Amsterdam), “Some trends of hard x-ray synchrotron radiation imaging” (J. Baruchel, ESRF), “Overgrowth phenomena studied by anomalous scattering combined with high-resolution reciprocal space mapping“ (T. Schülli, Grenoble), “In situ x-ray studies of the morphology, organization and internal structure of growing nanoparticles” (G. Renaud, Grenoble), “Femtosecond X-ray diffraction” (J. Wark, Oxford), “Magnetic transmission soft X-ray microscopy: looking into nanomagnetism at short length and fast time scales” (P. Fischer, Stuttgart), “X-ray waveguides as nano-focusing devices” (W. Jark, Trieste), and “X-ray standing wave imaging” (J. Zegenhagen, Grenoble). Poster topics generated a lot of interest and discussion could be heard not only during sessions but over an evening glass of beer. The full list of all contributions together with their abstracts are available at the conference website www.xray.cz/xtop.

During the meeting, A. Lang, honorary guest of XTOP 2004, one of the pioneers of X-ray topography who gave his name to the popular topographic technique, celebrated his 80th birthday. A. Authier reviewed Prof. Lang’s career and his invaluable contribution to the development of the field.

A special issue of Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics containing full peer reviewed high-level original contributions from XTOP will appear in 2005.

In total, 147 official delegates from 16 countries attended the conference. Of these, 13 students and young scientists from Europe and Latin America received sponsorship from the IUCr. Others were partially or totally supported thanks to other sponsors. The commercial exhibition included booths of all of the sponsors.

The general scientific and presentation standards of contributions was high. The efforts of all members of the local organizing committee were also a big factor in the success of this event.

XTOP 2004 ended with a conference dinner in the Prague Congress Centre with a splendid view of Prague Castle at sunset. Prof. Baumbach and his group from the Inst. for Synchrotron Radiation at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe will organize the next conference, XTOP 2006, in Germany.

Zbyněk Šourek and Václav Holý