SSRL Headline News is also available online 

Vol. 15, No. 7 - March 2015

View the Archives
**Note for Outlook users: For easier reading, please click the bar at the
top of this message that reads "This message was converted to plain
text" and select "Display as HTML."**

From the Director

Kelly Gaffney

It is my pleasure to communicate the outcome of the most recent DOE BES triennial review of SSRL.  We recently received the report, which provides strong positive comments on our scientific productivity, accelerator performance, strategic plan, and most of all outstanding user support.  We are exceptionally pleased to be able to continue our strong partnership with our user community and to develop further our facility and capabilities.  I want to thank the SSRL user community, and the entire SSRL staff for their dedication and support.


Science Highlights


Reversible CO-binding to the Active Site of NitrogenaseContacts: Thomas Spatzal and Douglas C. Rees, California Institute of Technology

As a basic biological building block of amino acids and DNA, nitrogen is necessary for life. Yet most of the Earth’s nitrogen is contained in the atmosphere as dinitrogen, which most organisms are unable to use because they cannot break dinitrogen’s N-N-triple bond. A few microorganisms, however, are able to use an enzyme called nitrogenase to catalyze the transformation of dinitrogen into bioavailable ammonia. Read more...


Unconventional Switching Behavior in La0.7Sr0.3MnO3/La0.7Sr0.3CoO3 Exchange-spring BilayersContacts: Binzhi Li and Yayoi Takamura, University of California, Davis

Advanced permanent magnets with low cost and high energy density are important for next-generation technologies, and one promising type of advanced magnet is the exchange spring magnet. This type of nanocomposite comprises two phases of magnetic materials: “hard” magnets, which can remain  uniformly magnetized under large fluctuations in magnetic fields, and are often made of rare earth elements, and “soft” magnets, which have a high energy density but their magnetic states can easily be disturbed by small magnetic fields. Read more...


Mapping Metals Incorporation of a Whole Single Catalyst Particle Using Element Specific X-ray NanotomographyContacts: Yijin Liu and Joy C. Andrews, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Florian Meirer and Bert M. Weckhuysen, Utrecht University

One of the most important processes used in petroleum refineries is called fluid catalytic cracking (FCC). This chemical process converts large or heavy molecules of crude oil into smaller and lighter hydrocarbons, such as gasoline. This useful conversion is due in great part to a tiny catalyst particle just 50 to 150 millionths of a meter in diameter. The particle consists of a complex mixture of silica-alumina, clay and zeolite in a porous structure that enables the crude oil molecules to flood the material and reach the catalytically active areas within the particle. After the conversion process, this structure also allows the lighter molecules to leave the catalyst. Read more...


Upcoming Workshops and Conferences

12th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation, July 6-10, 2015, New York City, NY

Registration is now open for the 12th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2015)

The National Synchrotron Light Source ll (NSLS-ll) at Brookhaven National Laboratory is pleased to invite you to register to attend the 12th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI) at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, New York City, July 6-10, 2015.

Register at SRI website

16th International Conference on X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS16), August 23-28, 2015, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Karlsruhe, Germany
        Conference website

12th International Conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation (BSR) is being planned to take place in Menlo Park, CA on August 22-24, 2016. Save the Date.

Joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference, October 7-9, 2015 - Call for SSRL/LCLS Workshop Topics

What are the hot topics that you want to hear about or discuss at the next SSRL/LCLS Users' Conference?  Send your suggestions (include a proposed title, abstract, potential organizers, talks, speakers) by April 10 please.

2015 LCLS/SSRL Annual Users' Conference Organizing Committee: Cathy Knotts, SSRL/LCLS User Research Administration Manager, Petra Fromme, LCLS Users' Executive Committee Vice Chair, Eddie Snell, SSRL Users' Executive Committee Vice Chair, Georgi Dakovski , LCLS Scientist, Tim Maxwell, LCLS Scientist, Hendrik Ohldag, SSRL Scientist



New Accelerator Control Room Comes to Life

March 19, 2015 edition of SLAC Today

SLAC’s new main Accelerator Control Room (ACR), located on the first floor of Building 52, is coming to life. Over the past several weeks, 150 monitors and other equipment have been moved in, and a prototype workstation has been set up for system tests. If everything goes according to plan, engineers and scientists will begin to populate the lab’s new nerve center in the fall.

Many routine accelerator operations are currently managed from the Main Control Center (MCC) in Building 5, whose history goes back to SLAC’s founding days in the 1960s, when it was one of the lab’s first two control rooms. Today, it houses most of the controls for the linac and SPEAR3 accelerators – the backbones of the LCLS, FACET and SSRL user facilities. Read more...



Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program is Now Accepting Applications

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2015 solicitation.  Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Tuesday April 14, 2015.

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months-with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students' overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at the SCGSR website.


User Research Administration

  • Proposal Deadlines
    The next deadline for submitting standard Macromolecular Crystallography proposals is April 1 and June 1 is the deadline for X-ray/VUV proposals.

    Submit proposals and beam time requests 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

To unsubscribe from SSRL Headlines, just send an e-mail to with "signoff ssrl-headlines" in the body.

To subscribe, send an e-mail to with "subscribe ssrl-headlines" in the body.

Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn