The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

Information for Users

Obtaining Beamtime

As a user facility, the use of the APS is free to outside users for work that will be published in the open literature. Cost recovery charges apply for work that will remain proprietary. Beamtime is awarded competitively based on submitted proposals for beamtime, which consider the scientific merit of each proposal, as well as its suitability at the requested beamline. Approximately three weeks of beamtime are available at 7-BM for each four-month APS cycle. For parties interested in performing measurements at 7-BM, please contact beamline staff to discuss your experiments. The APS User Office has written a guide for the process of requesting and obtaining beamtime. Proposals are typically due 3 months prior to the start of a beam cycle.

Note that while the use of APS is free, users must arrange for travel, lodging when on-site, and shipping. Lodging is available on-site at the Argonne Guest House.

Beamline Utilities

The following is a reasonably complete listing of the beamline utilities for prospective users in planning their experiments. Please confirm any critical utility needs with beamline staff before planning your experiment.

Hutch Layout

7-BM comprises two contiguous enclosures, 7-BM-A and B. 7-BM-A is the first optics enclosure designed with a white beam slit, a double-multilayer monochromator (three stripes, each approximately 8 mm wide), and a P6 mode change shutter, which allows for operation in both white and multilayer monochromatic mode.

The 7-BM-B experimental station houses two precision motorized tables for alignment and positioning of experimental equipment. It also houses a 300 mm long KB mirror system for focusing and harmonic rejection.

A schematic of the hutch layout is given here.

A somewhat out-of-date technical description of the beamline is given in: 7BM beamline description by A. Kastengren et al., in ILASS 2010

Sample Mounting and Translation

The main translation for experiments is provided by a set of servo controlled translation stages.  For experiments other than tomography, samples up to 40-50 kg mass can be accommodated.  Typical mounting uses standard optical table hole patterns (1/4"-20 UNC holes on 1" centers).  For tomography measurements, samples must typically be a few kg at most.  Please enquire with beamline staff regarding sample mounting.

Electrical Service

  • 115 VAC single-phase, 20 A service using standard US plugs. The hutch contains two sets of outlets: dirty power (brown outlets) for most equipment, and clean power (orange outlets) for equipment sensitive to electrical noise.
  • 208 VAC single-phase, 20 A for one outlet near the downstream end of 7-BM-B.
  • 208 VAC 3-phase, 20 A using Hubbell twist-lock plugs on several outlets inside 7-BM-B.
  • 208 VAC 3-phase, 30 A using a Hubbell twist-lock plug on the roof of 7-BM-B.
  • 208 VAC 3-phase, 50 A NEMA 15-50 outlet near the downstream end of 7-BM-B.
  • 480 VAC 3-phase, 60 A for one outlet on the roof of 7-BM-B.


  • Chilled water is provided by the APS central chilled water system. Typical temperatures and flowrates at 2 L/min at 6° C. Note that this water supply contains particulates and contaminants, and as such should not be used when cleanliness is essential. Hydraulic quick-connect couplers (Parker BH4-60 and BH4-61) are used to connect to the chilled water system, with the female end of the coupler connected to the hutch supply pipes.
  • Deionized water can be obtained on-site. Please consult with beamline staff if DI water will be needed for an experiment.
  • Tap water and drains are available in the beamline laboratory in Building 432, adjacent to the experiment hall. Note that no chemical waste may be disposed of in the sinks.

Compressed Gases

  • Compressed air is available through a manifold with manual regulators. The maximum delivery pressure is 90 psig.
  • The beamline is equipped with a 500 psig liquid nitrogen dewar as a source of high pressure nitrogen.  A panel regulator system outside the hutch can be used to control the nitrogen delivery pressure.  A high-pressure feedthrough is used to bring the nitrogen into the hutch.  
  • High-pressure gas cylinders can be placed outside the 7-BM-B hutch. One high-pressure feedthrough into the hutch is available.


The hutch is equipped with a high-capacity exhaust system. The maximum flowrate through the system (with no restriction on the flow) is 350 CFM. The static suction of the system is quite small; as such, any restriction on the flow significantly reduces the system capacity.