Argonne National Laboratory

Users Meeting 2010
May 3-5, 2010

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Workshop Summaries

Wednesday, May 5, 2009

Workshop 1 — Application of Advanced X-ray Techniques to Industrial Research

Organizers: Steve Heald, Dean Haeffner, Jin Wang, Randall Winans, APS

With the renewed interest in industrial research at the APS, this workshop attracted a lot of interest and was attended by a mix of new and experienced users. The talks represented a range of industries, including oil, auto, and chemical companies;  electronics applications; and medical devices. A wide variety of experimental techniques were also presented, including resonant x-ray emission spectroscopy, powder diffraction, EXAFS, micro-diffraction, and high-speed imaging. In line with the APS upgrade, a dominant theme is the desire to make these measurements under operating conditions in real time. At the conclusion of the talks there was a brief discussion about industrial users obtaining access to the APS. There were concerns about obtaining beamtime on a more rapid basis then allowed by the proposal system, and, when using the proposal system, the difficulty in obtaining adequate ratings for proposals with an applied science focus.  Both of these issues have been recognized by APS management, and possible solutions are under consideration. Anyone who has faced these difficulties or can suggest possible solutions is encouraged to contact Walter Lowe, the APS industrial liaison (

Workshop 2 — Beamline 2.0: The Fully Integrated Instrument

 To come        

Workshop 3 — Linking Structure and Magnetism in Novel Materials: Future Opportunities at an Upgraded APS

Organizers: J.W. Freeland, APS; A. Enders, Univ. of Nebraska

Magnetism is a fundamental property that underpins much of our basic understanding of the functionality of many systems.  Since magnetism arises from cooperative interactions, it is not only dependent on the electronic state of a local atom but also how it is connected to the rest of the system (i.e., its structure).  Understanding this inter-relationship is key to unraveling forefront questions in magnetism, such as how magnetic order evolves with reduced dimensionality and how it responds to external stimuli.  Of equal importance is the inter-relationship with other properties (i.e., metallicity, superconductivity, ferroelectricity, and so on) and how we can rationally control the state of a material through its structural, electronic, and magnetic interactions. Synchrotron radiation provides a unique suite of tools (spectroscopy and diffraction) that are crucial to our understanding of this link between structure and magnetism. 

To highlight new scientific areas in the context of the planned upgrade of Advanced Photon Source, a workshop entitled Linking Structure and Magnetism in Novel Materials: Future Opportunities at an Upgraded APS was held at the recent user’s meeting. Invited speakers from the United States and abroad came together to discuss key open questions in magnetism and new facilities that would enable their solution. Topics ranged from interfaces in oxide and semiconductor heterostructures to magnetism under extreme conditions (see link). Interactions with the speakers have pinpointed areas where the APS excels in the study of magnetism and directions for future growth in the context of the forthcoming upgrade. The speakers highlighted the need to increase the flux of the soft x-ray capabilities and to couple them with in situ synthesis. On the hard x-ray side, they supported the high magnetic field capabilities that are already part of CD0 and noted the unique opportunities available in the area of high-pressure magnetism. The need for improved insertion devices with fully tunable polarization state was also highlighted.

Workshop 4 — Science Opportunities with an X-ray Free Electron Laser Oscillator

Organizers: K.-J. Kim, APS, and Yu. Shvyd’ko, APS

More than 50 participants attended a half-day workshop to discuss "Science Opportunities with an X-ray Free Electron Laser Oscillator." An x-ray free electron laser oscillator (XFELO) is a next-generation hard x-ray source that will produce fully coherent x-ray beams of record spectral purity and average brightness in the hard x-ray photon energy range.

The workshop objective was to present to the user community outstanding capabilities of the future x-ray free electron laser, and to explore its potential impact on different fields of science. The workshop featured presentations on selected x-ray techniques and related x-ray science themes expected to benefit from the advent of the XFELO: inelastic x-ray scattering, nuclear resonant scattering, hard x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, time-resolved measurements, and imaging with nanometer resolution. The workshop was concluded by panel discussion. The speakers and the workshop attendees agreed that an XFELO will enable revolutionary new scientific opportunities, drastically improve experimental techniques developed at third-generation x-ray facilities, and will be a highly desirable future light-source complementary to the upgraded APS

Workshop 5 — Biomolecular Assemblies as Materials Synthesis Templates: From Molecular Fundamentals to Energy and Environmental Sustainability Applications

Organizers: Hyunmin Yi, Tufts University; Qian Wang, University of South Carolina

This workshop focused on studies in harnessing the exquisite structural and chemical features of nanobiological template materials ranging from peptide assemblies to viruses for facile synthesis of functional materials.  Six invited speakers spoke on their research endeavors: Gerard Wong (UCLA) on virus crystal structures, Millicent Firestone (Argonne) on ionic and electronic tranport devices via biologically inspired polymers, Qian Wang (USC) on biomedical application of viral nanoparticle assemblies, Hyunmin Yi (Tufts) on TMV-templated nanocatalysis, James Culver (University of Maryland) on genetic engineering approaches to high capacity energy applications and Matthew Francis (UC Berkeley) on viral assembly-based energy harvesting systems. The small-group setting enabled intense, focused and inspiring scientific discussions for both the speakers and the audience. In particular, experts from multiple disciplines (plant pathology, physics, chemistry and chemical engineering) working on the central theme of biomolecular assemblies for functional materials development exchanged extensive comments and discussion about potential collaborations and future directions. This kind of unique opportunity is hard to come by in traditional discipline-centered conferences. 

WK6: Actinide Research at the APS: Successes and Prospects

Organizers: Mark R. Antonio, Argonne National Laboratory; James G. Tobin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Ever since the irradiation of thorium (Z = 90) with a 69-MeV synchrotron bremsstrahlung beam in 1953 [1], the actinide elements (89 ≤ Z ≤ 103) have long been subjects of synchrotron radiation research. Throughout the world during the 1970s and 1980s, many kinds of experiments—ranging from x-ray photoemission to photoabsorption and scattering, to name just three—run at various user facilities have led to advances in the understanding of actinide electronic structure and bonding. Throughout the 1990s and into the present, actinide research at the APS has been carried out around the ring and across the 5f period, including groundbreaking successes with elements Th, U, Np, Pu, Am, Cm, Bk, and Cf. The speakers in this workshop highlighted a number of revolutionary approaches to the study of actinide-bearing systems in the form of solid-state materials (including nuclear fuel, plutonium alloys, and minerals) and bulk solutions (both aqueous and organic) as well as targeted investigations of solid-vapor and liquid-vapor interfacial chemistry. Since synchrotron radiation became available at APS in the 1990s, a number of x-ray scattering measurements under extreme conditions, including high pressure and high temperature, and x-ray spectroelectrochemical experiments, using controlled electrode potentials and purpose-built instrumentation, that would be otherwise difficult, if not impossible, to perform elsewhere have been accomplished. In addition, measurements of soft matter requiring a more delicate approach with high spatial resolution in three dimensions are nearing fruition. Special emphasis was also given to projecting the needs for the next generation of cutting edge synchrotron experiments with actinide elements and issues associated with the complete nuclear fuel cycle.

1. D. M. Hiller and D. S. Martin, Jr. Radiochemical Studies on the Photofission of Thorium. Phys. Rev. 90, 581 (1953).

Workshop 7: Are Phase-Contrast and Diffraction Imaging/Microscopy Ready for Biology and Medicine?

Organizers: Han Wen, National Institutes of Health, and Christoph Rose-Petruck, Brown University

The workshop “Are phase-contrast and diffraction imaging/microscopy ready for biology and medicine?" turned out to be highly successful. The answer to the question posed by the title is a resounding “almost.” The diffraction enhanced imaging (DEI) technique discussed by Drs. Muehleman, Parham and Zhong is clearly capable of dramatically enhanced soft-tissue contrast and lower radiation exposure to the patients. The propagation-based phase contrast techniques discussed by Dr. Rose-Petruck show great potential for high-resolution imaging of blood vessels, lung and targeted contrast particles. The grating-based spatial harmonic technique discussed by Dr. Wen has proved to be robust, forgiving and well suited for in vivo applications. Although at this moment each technique still has significant technical hurdles to overcome, it is clear from the workshop that the strengths of these techniques complement each other. It is likely that future methods that combine elements of these approaches may emerge to be most effective for biomedical applications.    











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