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Vol. 14, No. 9 - April 2014

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Science Highlights


Correlation of Lithium-Ion Battery Performance with Structural and Chemical TransformationsContacts: Feng Lin and Marca Doeff (LBNL), Dennis Nordlund and Tsu-Chien Weng (SSRL)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are widely used in applications ranging from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. An important feature of a high-quality battery is a long lifetime, i.e. a large number of possible charge-discharge cycles. However, every cycle introduces changes in the battery’s electrode material, limiting its cyclability. A research collaboration has recently examined the occurring structural and chemical changes in the electrode material during cycling and linked them to the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Read more...

See related SLAC News Feature


Magnetism and Superconductivity Compete in Iron-based SuperconductorsContact: Donghui Lu (SSRL)

High-temperature superconductors are materials whose electrical resistance vanishes below critical temperatures that are much higher than for conventional superconductors. As potential energy-saving electrical conductor materials, they are of immense interest for a wide range of industrial applications. Despite extensive research, the exact mechanism behind high-temperature superconductivity has remained an unsolved mystery. Now, an international team of researchers has solved an important piece of the puzzle.  Read more...

See related SLAC News Feature

Science Update

Bay Area Cryo-EM Meeting at Stanford/SLAC

On April 17, 65 cryo-electronmicroscopists attended the Bay Area Cryo-EM Meeting, which was hosted at SLAC in partnership between members of Prof. Roger Kornberg’s laboratory at Stanford and the SSRL Structural Molecular Biology group, and with Dr. Hans Elmlund as meeting organizer. Despite the name of the meeting, the participants included a mix of U.S. and international participants in addition to Bay Area cryo-EM scientists from several universities and institutions. Topics included a range of biological cryo-EM applications, illustrating the strong technical developments that enable the study of increasingly complex and challenging systems.  It also described multi-technique approaches, including combining cryo-EM with NMR, STEM, atomic force microscopy and x-ray diffraction, as well as computational approaches.  Talks on single-particle imaging and crystallography capabilities at LCLS were part of the workshop, setting the stage for a tour to the LCLS CXI station.  There is much recent interest in single-particle techniques in both the coherent x-ray diffraction and cryo-EM communities, and one of the goals of the meeting was to bring them together to seed ideas and collaborations.  The agenda can be found at

Upcoming Onsite Events

SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Techniques in Materials and Environmental Sciences, June 3-5, 2014

workshop image

The 7th SSRL SRXRS (Synchrotron Radiation-based X-ray Scattering techniques) 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 and session of diffraction theory and on data analysis. The school will also cover new instrumentation at SSRL scattering beam lines. This year's school, which will take place June 3-5, is organized by: Apurva Mehta, Stefan Mannsfeld, Chris Tassone, and Mike Toney. The registration deadline is Thursday, May 29.   See website

uxss poster

PULSE Institute - Ultrafast X-ray Summer Seminar, June 15-19, 2014

Hosted by the Stanford PULSE Institute, the UXSS is organized in collaboration with the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science at DESY in Hamburg, Germany, and the Helmholtz Virtual Institute for Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes, Germany.

The goal of UXSS 2014 is to disseminate information and train students and post-docs on new opportunities in ultrafast science, particularly using x-ray free electron lasers.  See website

SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Microscale Imaging Techniques, July 11-15, 2014 - Save the Date

The 1st SSRL SXRMI (Synchrotron X-ray MicroXAS Imaging) School will provide a practical users' guide to planning and conducting microXAS imaging experiments at SSRL beam lines. Students will participate in hands-on sessions at the beam lines, including on the following facilities: hard x-ray microXAS imaging (BL2-3), hard x-ray mesoprobe XAS imaging (BL10-2), and the newest microXAS imaging “tender” energy beam line (BL14-3).  The hands-on sessions will be paired with several sessions of data analysis and data mining of imaging data. The School will also cover new instrumentation and techniques at SSRL microXAS imaging beam lines and will include topics that can only be learned by direct access and experience at the facility through on-the-experiment training. This initial school, which will take place July 11-15, is organized by Sam Webb and Courtney Roach. Watch for the School's webpage to appear soon on the SSRL News & Events page.

High Power Laser Workshop, October 7-8, 2014 - Save the Date

SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference and Workshops, October 7-10, 2014 - Save the Date

Macromolecular Crystallography: Stanford AutoMounter (SAM) Developers' Forum Workshop, October 10, 2014 - Save the Date

NUFO Event

Call for User Science Demonstrations, Videos for NUFO Science Exhibition in DC, June 10

A National User Facility Organization (NUFO) User Science Exhibition will be held on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in the foyer of the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building. Discovery and energy are the themes for the NUFO exhibition. Users are encouraged to participate in this event, which will feature hands-on demonstrations, videos, and examples of user and industry research. Contact NUFO Vice Chair Stephen Wasserman (  The Future of America is the Research of Today

User Research Administration Announcements

  • Proposal Deadlines

    – SSRL X-ray/VUV proposals can be submitted three times a year: June 1, and September 1 and December 1

    – SSRL Macromolecular Crystallography proposals can be submitted April 1 and July 1 and December 1.

    – LCLS Protein Crystal Screening proposals for CSI and XPP are due by 4 pm (PST) on May 12, 2014

    – LCLS general proposals for experiments on AMO, SXR, XPP, CXI, XCS, MEC are due by 4 pm (PST) on July 29, 2014

    Submit beam time requests and proposals through the user portal.

  • Inform Us of Publications, Awards, Patents

    SSRL provides technical tools for world-leading science at no charge for scientists who conduct non-proprietary research, with the understanding that significant results are to be publicly disseminated. Scientists must acknowledge use of the facility in presentations and publications and must inform us of all publications, theses, awards, patents and other forms of recognition resulting from research conducted fully or partially at SSRL. These metrics of scientific achievements and productivity are extremely important to the facility, and to our funding agencies

    Reminder:  Please also contact us as research results are about to be published so that we can work with you to more broadly communicate your research.

  • Temporary Food Service Available during Construction of New Cafeteria in Science and User Support Building

    The SLAC Cafe, auditorium and visitor center are closed and will be replaced by a new Science and User Support Building (SUSB). During this construction (2013-2015), temporary food service will be provided by the Cardinal Chef Mobile Gourmet food trucks, 11am - 2pm in front of SLAC Building 27. Lunch menus are posted online.  See map

    In an effort to expand the food service available onsite SLAC has also launched a "Virtual Cafeteria" using services provided by the "Eat Club".  Eat Club is a local lunch delivery service. They collaborate with local restaurants to provide quality food fitting a variety of tastes at an affordable price. Orders are placed and paid for through their online service. The SLAC community can review the daily selections and place an online order in the morning using a personal credit card. Drop-off delivery will be made around noon each day to several locations around the site.  A drop-off location has now been added in the SSRL Building 120 Experimental Hall.

    Individual on-line registration takes just a few minutes. The url for sign-up for a free account and for pre-order is

    A Starbucks kiosk near the Guest House parking lot will open early this summer to offer daily walk-up coffee and takeout pastries and cold sandwiches. The kiosk will be open from 6am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and tentatively on weekends from 6am to 2pm.

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