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Vol. 18, No. 6 - January 2018

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From the Director


Changes to X-ray / VUV Proposal Submission Deadlines

With the SSRL user operations schedules having gradually been moved to resume in October instead of November (after the annual summer shut-down for upgrades and maintenance) in order to provide a longer fall run schedule, we have decided to move our call for SSRL X-ray and VUV proposals to earlier dates. This was discussed with and endorsed by the SSRL Proposal Review Panel at their on-site meeting this month.

As detailed towards the end of this Newsletter, and on the SSRL User Resources web page, the new dates to submit new proposals through the user portal are: May 1, August 1, November 1. This applies to X-ray and VUV proposals only; those for macromolecular crystallography proposals remain the same.

This change also ensures sufficient time to conduct a thorough external peer review of new proposals. As a user and supporter of the SSRL facility, we hope that you will be available when asked to serve as a peer reviewer for new proposals in your area of expertise. With an increase of ~30% of proposals to review by the PRP this year, as compared to that at the same meeting in 2017, your assistance will be particularly appreciated in the future if this trend continues.

SSRL Year in Review - 2017

As we begin 2018, we reflect back on accomplishments over the past year summarized in our 2017 Year in Review. We are grateful for the excellent outcome of the triennial DOE BES review of SSRL that took place in May 2017. The review highlighted the strength of the science performed at SSRL. Thank you for keeping SSRL at the technological forefront.

Science Highlight


Questioning the Universality of the Charge Density Wave Nature in Electron-doped CupratesContact: Jun-Sik Lee (SSRL)

The first superconductor materials discovered offer no electrical resistance to a current only at extremely low temperatures (less than 30 K or −243.2°C). The discovery of materials that show superconductivity at much higher temperatures (up to 138 K or −135°C) are called high-temperature superconductors (HTSC). For the last 30 years, scientists have researched cuprate materials, which contain copper-oxide planes in their structures, for their high-temperature superconducting abilities. To understand the superconducting behavior in the cuprates, researchers have looked to correlations with the charge density wave (CDW), caused by the ordered quantum field of electrons in the material. It has been assumed that the CDW in a normal (non-superconducting) state is indicative of the electron behavior at the lower temperature superconducting state.  Read more...

Citation: H. Jang et al., Phys. Rev. X (2017), DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.7.041066

SSRL-Related News

Get Ready for the Battery Revolution

Excerpted from January 11, 2018 Forbes article by Mike Montgomery

Moore’s law states that processing power will double every two years. While more of a prediction than a principle, Moore’s law has guided the technology industry to extraordinary growth. Today we can stream movies while standing in line at Starbucks as easily as making a phone call.

But many of us choose not to do that because we’re worried about our batteries. Most of us go through the day with one eye on the battery strength of our cell phone or, if we have an electric vehicle, our car. There’s no question that to date, batteries have not kept up with the speed of technological innovation.

“The equivalent of Moore’s law for batteries is that they improve about 3% every year,” says Mike Toney, SSRL. “It’s been on a much slower growth rate than processing or cell phones.”

That could be about to change. 

Scientists Discover Workings of First Promising Marburg Virus Treatment

Excerpted from January 11, 2018 Scripps News & Views article by Madeline McCurry-Schmidt

(Image courtesy Ollmann Saphire Lab)

With a mortality rate of up to 88 percent, Marburg virus can rip through a community in days. In 2005, an outbreak of Marburg virus struck a pediatric ward in the country of Angola. With no treatment available, doctors struggled to help as the virus killed 329 of 374 infected patients.

Now, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered the workings of the first promising treatment for Marburg virus, a pathogen with the same pandemic potential as Ebola virus. The research builds on previous studies showing that an antibody called MR191 can neutralize Marburg—though no one knew exactly how it targeted the virus.  Read more...

Work done at SSRL's macromolecular crystallography Beam Line 12-2 was cited in the study results published in January 10, 2018 issue of Cell Host & Microbe (DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.12.003)

DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar Visits SLAC

Excerpted from January 18, 2018 SLAC News article by Andrew Gordon

SSRL Director Kelly Gaffney joined SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao and members of the SLAC senior management team in welcoming DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar on his recent visit to SLAC.   The Under Secretary's visit on January 17 included tours and discussions on how the lab is driving scientific innovation. In addition to meeting with SLAC and Stanford leadership he met with researchers and scientists involved in the lab’s x-ray science, particle physics and astrophysics, technology innovation and applied energy programs.  Read more...

Upcoming Events

SLAC Public Lecture: Simon Bare Presents, "Catalysis: The Hidden Path to Foods, Fuels and Our Future"

(Greg Stewart/SLAC)

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 30, 7:30-8:30 pm

Location: in the Panofsky Auditorium (B053)

The high standard of living we enjoy today is made possible by catalysts ­– behind-the-scenes agents that promote chemical reactions in the vast majority of industrial processes, including production of fertilizers, gasoline and other essential products. But we have only a poor understanding of how catalysts actually work. At SSRL, we are using x-rays to watch catalysts in action at an atomic scale. By observing catalytic reactions in experimental chambers under conditions that mimic large-scale commercial processes, we gain fundamental insights with great practical value for designing industrial catalysts that are more specific and more powerful.  See announcement

EPFL 10-week Online Course on Synchrotrons and X-ray Free Electron Lasers Starts March 4, 2018

Are you interested in investigating materials and their properties with greater accuracy and fidelity? Synchrotrons and X-ray Free-Electron Lasers (XFELs) are premier microscopic tools used in scientific disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, environmental science, cultural heritage, catalytical chemistry, and studies of the electronic properties of novel materials. The Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) is offering a free 10-week online introduction to synchrotrons and XFEL facilities and associated techniques. The course will cover:

  • What x-rays are and how are they produced
  • Interactions of x-rays with matter
  • Synchrotron and XFEL facilities
  • Scattering techniques such as diffraction and SAXS
  • Spectroscopic techniques
  • Imaging using x-rays

Learn more or enroll now for the course which begins March 4, 2018.

Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2018), June 10-15, 2018, Taiwan

Save the date for the 13th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2018) to be hosted by the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC), at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), June 10-15, 2018. The Call for Abstracts will remain open until April 15.  Conference website 

50 Years of Synchrotron Radiation in the UK and Its Global Impact (UKSR50), June 26-29, 2018, Liverpool, UK

Save the date for UKSR50 - a conference hosted by the University of Liverpool to celebrate SR-related achievements over the past 50 years and explore the future of the light sources (Synchrotrons and FELs) and their applications in the coming decades. Early Bird registration for the conference ends 12/31/2017.  Conference website

Save the Date: September 26-28, 2018  —Joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting at SLAC

See Meeting website for updates

Announcement Launches New Website

Check out the new look of, a collaboration between light source facilities around the world. On this joint website, you can find convenient links to the facilities, the latest news, useful information for users (proposal deadlines, conference, workshops and events), and career opportunities from collaborating synchrotrons and FELs.

User Research Administration

SSRL Beam Time Request Deadlines

  • February 5, 2018 – X-ray/VUV beam time requests for mid-April – July 2018
  • April 18, 2018 – Macromolecular Crystallography requests for June – July 2018

SSRL Proposal Deadlines – NOTE NEW DEADLINES for X-ray / VUV proposals!

  • April 1, 2018 – Macromolecular Crystallography (for beam time eligibility in June – July 2018 period)
  • May 1, 2018 – X-ray / VUV  (for beam time eligibility beginning fall 2018)   

*  With our user operations resuming in October instead of November, we need to move up our call for SSRL X-ray and VUV proposals. Submit new proposals through the user portal by these new deadlines:  May 1, August 1, November 1.   See SSRL Proposal & Scheduling Guidelines

LCLS Proposal Deadline

  • February 8, 2018 (4 pm Pacific) – AMO, CXI, MEC, MFX, SXR, XCS, XPP (regular proposal type)

See LCLS Proposal Preparation Guidelines

Submit proposals and beam time requests for both facilities through the User Portal.

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) is a third-generation light source producing extremely bright x-rays for basic and applied research.  SSRL attracts and supports scientists from around the world who use its state-of-the-art capabilities to make discoveries that benefit society. SSRL, a U.S. DOE Office of Science national user facility, is a Directorate of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.  The SSRL Structural Molecular Biology Program is supported by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. For more information about SSRL science, operations and schedules, visit

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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn