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Vol. 17, No. 8 - March 2017

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From Our Director


We are preparing for an important triennial review of SSRL by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and we need your help to compile the following DOE-requested information related to SSRL user experiments during the period of 2014 through 2016.

By April 14, please provide lists of the following information directly related to your utilization of SSRL beam lines:

  • citations for theses and dissertations awarded (include institution, year, author name, title, advisor(s));
  • awards received (awardee name, award title, year);
  • patents, commercialized technology or relationships with industry;
  • invited talks (talk title, conference/meeting name and date, conference location, conference title);
  • papers (published or in press) if not already listed in the SSRL publication list.

You can search for your papers in the SSRL publications database by title, last name, beamline or DOI within a time period.

On the Submit Publication tab you can submit publications individually or paste approximately 10 citations in the text box once you've entered your contact information.   You can also submit information on invited talks up to ~400 characters in the box provided.

Your response can also be sent to Lisa Dunn directly at

I cannot stress enough how important this is for the facility, and I thank you in advance for your prompt attention and reply.

Kelly Gaffney

Science Highlight


Bioaccumulation Dynamics of Arsenate at the Base of Aquatic Food WebsContacts: David Buchwalter and Dean Hesterberg, North Carolina State University

Coal-ash spills in Tennessee and North Carolina rivers have prompted concerns that toxic trace elements like arsenic could be concentrated in the food web to potentially affect humans. At the base of these freshwater food webs are periphyton biofilms, which contain a complex ecosystem of micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi, diatoms, and algae. Such biofilms can concentrate trace elements hundreds to thousands of times. To investigate whether arsenic concentrated in biofilms is propagated up the food chain, a team of scientists has studied the bioavailability of arsenic to organisms that feed on the periphyton biofilms. Read more...

More SSRL-Related Science

So Long Stiffness: Stanford Engineers Use Soup Additive to Create a Stretchable Plastic Electrode

Excerpt from March 10, 2017 Stanford News Article by Shara Tonn

A transparent, highly stretchy "electronic skin" patch forming an intimate interface with the human skin to potentially measure various biomarkers. (Image credit: Bao Lab)

The brain is soft and electronics are stiff, which can make combining the two challenging, such as when neuroscientists implant electrodes to measure brain activity and perhaps deliver tiny jolts of electricity for pain relief or other purposes. Chemical engineer Zhenan Bao is trying to change that. For more than a decade, her lab has been working to make electronics soft and flexible so that they feel and operate almost like a second skin. Along the way, the team has started to focus on making brittle plastics that can conduct electricity more elastic.

In a recent article in Science Advances, Bao’s team describes how they took one such brittle plastic and modified it chemically to make it as bendable as a rubber band, while slightly enhancing its electrical conductivity.  As Bao and her team sought to preserve conductivity while adding flexibility to the plastic they also carried out GIWAXS measurements at SSRL Beam Line 11-3 to study this material at the molecular level. The result of the overall study is a soft, flexible electrode that is compatible with our supple and sensitive nerves. Read more...

Awards and Honors

David L. Clark. (Photo credit: Rod Searcey, Stanford)

LANL Scientist Receives 2017 Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry

Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist David L. Clark has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry, sponsored by the American Chemical Society Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology.

Clark is being honored for his innovative systematic studies of the fundamental chemistry of actinide elements using novel experimental techniques and giving new insights into chemical bonding of 5f electrons. 

Clark is widely regarded for his efforts to bring state-of-the-art molecular-level understanding to the chemistry of the actinides and to apply that understanding to unravel the behavior of actinide ions in chemical solutions or the environment. Those efforts were applied to the original scientific case for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and to the environmental cleanup of the Rocky Flats Site.  XAS experiments on samples of contaminated RFETS soils at SSRL helped to provide a framework for decision makers to guide the remediation efforts.

The American Chemical Society will present Clark with the award at the Society’s 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition April 4, 2017 in San Francisco, California.  Read more...

Summer School

SSRL Summer School on Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Imaging

SSRL's 2017 Summer School on Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Imaging will be held June 19-23. The five-day session will provide training in XAS and Imaging theory, experimental design, data acquisition strategies and FEFF based EXAFS data analysis useful to both new and experienced users. The two-day practical training session will focus on teaching detailed sample preparation and data acquisition procedures at the beam lines. 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 parallel session for XAS imaging data acquisition and analysis will cover sample preparation, methods for optimal data collection, hands-on data analysis using the imaging data analysis software, microanalysis toolkit. The final day of the summer school 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.

Students and researchers wishing to participate in the Summer School must first apply to attend through the school web portal and should select either the Imaging or EXAFS hands-on data analysis session.  The deadline to submit an application is April 10, 2017.  Accepted participants will be notified by April 25, 2017 and given instructions for completing the registration process.

The Summer School will be chaired by SSRL Staff Scientist Ritimukta Sarangi and held at SSRL with additional facilities used at the SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory site. Funding for the SMB Summer School program is provided by NIH-NIGMS, DOE-BES, and DOE-BER.

We look forward to your participation and a fruitful Summer School.

More Upcoming Events

RapiData 2017 at SSRL – Data Collection and Structure Solving: A Practical Course in Macromolecular X-ray Diffraction Measurement, April 16-21, 2017, Menlo Park, CA 

The announcement, agenda, registration and additional information are now available at the RapiData 2017 website

canSAS-IX Meeting, June 5-7, 2017, San Francisco, CA

Please join us in San Francisco for canSAS-IX Meeting from June 5-7, 2017. The meeting will be hosted jointly between the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The collective action for nomadic materials science small angle scatterers (canSAS) is an ongoing activity to provide the small-angle scattering user community with shared tools and information. For more information please visit both canSAS and the meeting website

7th International Conferences on Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, September 11-15, 2017, Berkeley, CA

The 7th International Conferences on Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (HAXPES, HXPS, HX-PES,...) brings together researchers from a wide variety of fields, from fundamental condensed matter and atomic and molecular physics to more applied surface and interface studies of catalysis, energy and IT device- and process- development, and environmental research. HAXPES is here defined as involving photon energies in the multi-keV range above about 2 keV, but the conference also encourages studies involving complementary photoemission measurements at lower energies, as well as other x-ray-based techniques. The use of HAXPES as a newly developed analytical tool, is expanding rapidly, both making use of synchrotron radiation and laboratory sources. Register online or contact the Co-Chairs for more information: Piero Pianetta (Stanford/SSRL), Chuck Fadley (UC Davis/LBNL), and Zahid Hussain (LBNL).  Conference website

SSRL/LCLS Users' Conference & Workshops, September 27-29, 2017, Menlo Park, CA – Save the Date

Planning is underway for the next joint SSRL/LCLS Users' Conference. Please mark your calendars to save these dates:  September 27-29, 2017. We would appreciate your suggestions or feedback about what worked well, who you would like to hear from, or what you would like to see at the Users' Conference.

Please contact David Bushnell (SSRL UEC), Christoph Bostedt (LCLS UEC) or the Users Office to share your input.

User Research Administration

SSRL Beam Time Request Deadline

  • April 18, 2017 – Macromolecular Crystallography (June through July beam time)

SSRL Proposal Deadlines

  • June 1, 2017 – X-ray / VUV
  • July 1, 2017 – Macromolecular Crystallography

Note: Rapid Access Requests for selected beam lines can be submitted at any time.  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