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Vol. 16, No. 8 - March 2016

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Science Highlights


Atomically Precise Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Evolution ReactionContact: Douglas Kauffman, National Energy Technology Laboratory

The electrocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide and water into useful chemicals and fuels is a promising way of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and of providing sources for renewable energy. Part of these processes is the oxidation of water into molecular oxygen, a reaction that requires a catalyst. Previously, heterogeneous catalysts have been used, but adoption of homogeneous catalysts allows more understanding and fine-tuning of the atomic-level processes.   Read more...


Ultra-high Charge Carrier Mobility in an Organic Semiconductor by Vertical Chain AlignmentContact: David R. Barbero, Umeå University, Sweden

Current technologies of light emitting diodes (LEDs), photovoltaic systems (PVs), and other optical electronic devices typically use inorganic silicon-based semiconductors. However,  organic polymers could provide thinner, lighter and cheaper opto-electronic devices (like OLEDs and OPVs).   Read more...


Structure, Inhibition and Regulation of Two-pore Channel TPC1 from Arabidopsis thaliana – Contact: Robert Stroud, University of California, San Francisco

Filoviruses, such as Ebola virus require host-cell receptors, endocytosis, proteolytic cleavage, and fusion with the endolysosomal membrane for release of viral material into the cytoplasm. Two-pore channels (TPCs) comprise a subfamily (TPC1-3) of eukaryotic voltage- and ligand-gated cation channels that contain two non-equivalent tandem pore-forming subunits that then dimerize to form quasi-tetramers and orchestrate the trafficking of Filoviruses, including Ebola, in human cells.  Read more...

Upcoming Events

NUFO Annual Meeting - June 14-16, 2016, Livermore, CA

SAVE THE DATE to participate in the 2016 Annual Meeting of the National User Facility Organization (NUFO) to be held at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on June 14-16, 2016.  This year’s theme, “Power in Numbers:  Building Partnerships and Common Standards across User Facilities” will challenge attendees to develop shared practices for improving users’ experience, and create community performance standards to facilitate easier multi-facility use and collaboration. Invited speakers include officials from DOE's Office of Science, The NSF Large Facilities Office, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

Key Topics:

*  Federated Systems and Information Standards:  Potential Benefits to Users, Facility Mangers, and Administrators

*  Business Intelligence and Data Analysis Software Tools:  What tools are available, who is using them, and why

*  Streamlining Training and Facility Access and Improving the User Experience

Who Should Attend?  NUFO is a “community of communities.”  NUFO invites User Executive Committee representatives, facility managers, user administrators, data systems personnel, communications professionals and facility users to participate in this community dialogue by bringing their unique perspectives and experience to the meeting. Meeting  will include both plenary and breakout sessions on topics of interest to all communities.

Keynote Speakers:

*  Benjamin Brown, Senior Science & Technology Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

*  Matthew Hawkins, Director, Large Facilities Office, National Science Foundation

NOTE:  Attendance at the 2016 NUFO Annual Meeting is exempt from DOE’s Conference Management System. Registration for this meeting will open in April.

Workshop on Research Opportunities in Photochemistry, Solar Energy & Advanced X-ray Methods - June 16-17, 2016, Menlo Park, CA

The focus of this workshop is on fundamental questions in solar energy conversion and potential opportunities where advanced x-ray methods may have a significant impact.  The workshop will be organized with plenary talks in the morning sessions, followed by targeted breakout sessions for discussion and additional talks in the afternoon.  The primary goals of the workshop are to:  Facilitate the exchange of ideas and foster collaborations between scientists focused on solar energy conversion and researchers with particular expertise in time-resolved x-ray science; Identify challenges and opportunities for time-resolved x-ray methods for addressing problems in basic energy science; and Propose development paths for the most compelling science areas. There will be 3 breakout sessions:  (1) Nano- and solid state materials for solar energy conversion; (2) Molecular materials for solar energy conversion; (3) Fundamental chemistry and physics of light driven phenomena in molecular and nanomaterials. Registration will open soon. For more information, contact Kelly Gaffney or Robert Schoenlein.  Workshop website

XRS 2016 - 8th SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Techniques - June 21-23, 2016, Menlo Park, CA

Organizing Chairs: Apurva Mehta, Kevin Stone, Chris Tassone, Hongping Yan, and Mike Toney

This school will provide a practical users' guide to planning and conducting scattering measurements at SSRL beam lines, and will cover important techniques including small angle scattering, thin-film scattering, powder diffraction, structure refinement and surface x-ray scattering. The school will address topics that are not commonly included in text books or class lectures, and typically obtained only through on-the-experiment training. There will be:

  • hands-on sessions at SSRL beam lines
  • a session of diffraction theory
  • a session on diffraction data analysis

The school will also cover new instrumentation at SSRL scattering beam lines.  XRS 2016 Website

SSRL Summer School on Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy - July 18-22, 2016, Menlo Park, CA

Organizing Chair: Ritimukta Sarangi

The 2016 SSRL Summer School on Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy will be held July 18-22, 2016. The five-day session will provide training in XAS theory, experimental design, data acquisition strategies and FEFF based EXAFS data analysis useful to both new and experienced users. Examples will be highlighted in various fields. A two-day practical training session will focus on teaching detailed sample preparation and data acquisition procedures at SSRL Beam Lines 11-2, 7-3 and 9-3. Data processing and analysis techniques will be covered on subsequent days and will include introductions to EXAFS data fitting on simple systems leading into more involved data analysis methods to tackle difficult problems. The final day will be targeted towards experienced users and will include lectures on near-edge analysis techniques, combining advanced spectroscopic techniques with EXAFS and guidelines for proper reporting of EXAFS data. A 1-on-1 session for in-depth analysis of specific problems will be held on the afternoon of the final day.

Participants must first apply to attend through a web portal that will soon be available from the SSRL home web page. Once accepted, the participant will be informed about the registration process. Space is limited and interested participants are requested to submit an application early. The application deadline is May 10, 2016 and accepted participants will be notified by May 20, 2016 to register.  EXAFS 2016 Website

12th International Conference on Biology and Synchrotron Radiation - August 21-24, 2016, Menlo Park, CA

The International Biology and Synchrotron Radiation (BSR) meetings are held every three years with the aim of presenting and discussing state of the art applications in relevant research fields, providing a unique opportunity to discuss the novel possibilities of synchrotrons and x-ray lasers and to promote their applications to challenging biological problems.

This meeting provides a forum for scientists involved in research and development on synchrotron and free electron laser sources to come together with a broad community of biologists, with the ambition to make the best use of the most advanced infrastructures in structural biology. Possible applications range from atomic-resolution and time-resolved structures of biological macromolecules, medium resolution images of the largest molecular complexes in the living word, and cellular and sub-cellular structures.

Scientists at all possible career levels are invited to this meeting – ranging from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and principal investigators both from academia and industry. There will be ample opportunities for individual presentations.  Conference website


Call for Suggested Speakers and Discussion Topics at Joint SSRL/LCLS Users' Conference, October 5-7, 2016

Mark your calendar and save the dates October 5-7, 2016 to participate in the Joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference.

We encourage your suggestions for invited speakers, workshop or discussion topics for the 2016 conference, and  welcome your feedback from previous conferences. Contact us

Contact the SSRL Users' Executive Committee to suggest improvements to user services or to discuss areas of concern to the user community.

SSRL Mailing List Updated

We recently implemented changes to cast a wider net to share news about SSRL. If this is your first time receiving our electronic monthly newsletter, we hope that you find this edition informative. We welcome your feedback. If you would like to unsubscribe from this mailing list, just send an e-mail to with "signoff ssrl-headlines" in the body.

User Research Administration

Beam Time Requests

SSRL Macromolecular Crystallography requests for June-July 2016 beam time are due April 18.

Proposal Deadlines

June 1, 2016 - SSRL X-ray/VUV Proposals (for beam time eligibility beginning in fall 2016)

July 1, 2016 - SSRL Macromolecular Crystallography proposals (for beam time eligibility beginning fall 2016)

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

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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn