From the Director
During recent reviews, SSRL has received high praise for operations and
scientific achievement from our primary sponsors: the U.S. Department of
Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences for our core operations and the DOE
Office of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and the National Institutes of
Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences for our Structural
Molecular Biology Program. I would like to congratulate the entire SSRL team
for this significant achievement and thank everyone for their talent, ambition
and effort. I would also like to thank the SSRL user community for your
essential contributions to our collective success.
These excellent reviews enable SSRL to focus on the challenges and
opportunities of our near and long-term future. Finding a unique and compelling
plan for enhancing SSRL performance represents the key challenge that must be
addressed to ensure a bright future for SSRL. I encourage the SSRL user
community to help us define this future. Finding creative and collaborative
means of funding our strategic goals will also be critical to our success.
The senior management team at SSRL has launched numerous scientific and
operational task forces in 2015 focused on addressing these critical
challenges. Tackling these demands and embracing new opportunities will require
SSRL to stretch organizationally. We must establish new partnerships and
embrace a more entrepreneurial spirit, while maintaining excellence in facility
and user operations. I look forward to working with all of you to meet
our strategic goals while maintaining our high level of scientific and
operational achievement at SSRL.
A Designed Supramolecular Protein Assembly with in-Vivo Enzymatic
– Contact: F. Akif Tezcan, University of California, San Diego
Creating novel enzymes to perform specific chemical reactions is a field of
great promise, but it is still in its early stages. Efforts usually involve
using well-studied protein structural and functional domains to create new
active sites. Scientists have recently developed a different approach, creating
the active site in the interface between proteins in a multi-protein complex.
They started with a well-researched, natural protein that, in its natural
state, does not form complexes with other proteins, and nor does it catalyze
the desired reaction. Read more...
Identification of Highly Active Fe Sites in (Ni,Fe)OOH for
Electrocatalytic Water Splitting
– Contacts: Daniel Friebel, SUNCAT and Alexis T. Bell, JCAP
The sun provides more energy than what could ever possibly be consumed.
However, switching to solar energy to end our dependence on fossil energy
resources is made difficult not merely by how much is consumed, but rather by
the pattern of how energy is used: significant amounts are consumed by road and
air transportation and must be provided “on board” in the form of
fuels. This problem could be solved with new devices that convert sunlight into
renewable fuels, for example, by driving a light-induced current between two
electrodes that split water by electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen.
Currently, the limiting step for the viability of this process is the oxygen
evolution reaction (OER) that takes place at the anode. Read more...
More SSRL-related Science
Researchers Study How Metal Contamination Makes Gasoline Production
Excerpted from April 30, 2015 SLAC News Feature
Scientists at SSRL and Utrecht University have identified key mechanisms of
the aging process of catalyst particles that are used to refine crude oil into
gasoline. This advance could lead to more efficient gasoline production.
Their recent experiments studied so-called fluid catalytic cracking (FCC)
particles that are used to break long-chain hydrocarbons in crude oil into
smaller, more valuable hydrocarbons like gasoline.
“A major problem is that these catalysts quickly age and lose their
activity, so tons of fresh catalysts have to be added to a reactor system every
day,” said lead researcher Florian Meirer, assistant professor of
inorganic chemistry and catalysis at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
“We are trying to understand how this aging happens, and we’re
working with companies that produce these FCC catalysts to make the process
In x-ray nanotomography experiments using the transmission x-ray microscopy
setup at Beam Line 6-2c, the researchers studied FCC catalysts of various ages
to better understand the effects of aging. They were able to image whole
catalyst particles with high resolution so they could also see the
catalysts’ internal structure – like taking a panoramic landscape
photograph where you can zoom in to see the ants. Read more...
Arthur Bienenstock Honored with First Endowed Professorship to link
SLAC and Stanford
Excerpted from April 7, 2015 Stanford Report article by Glennda
Stanford University and SLAC have established the first endowed
professorship that is reserved specifically for joint appointments between the
Called the Wallenberg-Bienenstock Professorship, the new chair honors Arthur
I. "Artie" Bienenstock "for his outstanding efforts to
strengthen links between Stanford and Swedish universities," said Peter
Wallenberg Jr., chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, which
donated $4 million to establish the professorship.
A Professor Emeritus at SLAC and Stanford and former longtime Director of
the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Bienenstock has for the past
seven years directed the Wallenberg Research Link at Stanford, which fosters
collaborations between Stanford and Swedish researchers and facilitates campus
visits by groups and individuals from Swedish universities, industry and
"I was completely surprised and pleased," said Bienenstock, who
was informed of the professorship at a March 20 Stanford University campus
celebration of his 80th birthday.
"This is a tremendous honor, one that will help bring SLAC and the
campus closer together. Read more...
Congratulations from SSRL, Artie!
SSRL Users from Stanford Elected to Prestigious Science
A number of Stanford professors have recently been elected to the National
Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in
recognition of their achievements in original research. Congratulations
to them all, especially the several amongst them who are current or former SSRL
National Academy of Sciences:
Aharon Kapitulnik, the Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor of Applied
Physics and Professor of Physics
Zhi-Xun Shen, the Paul Pigott Professor in Physical Sciences; Professor of
Physics and of Applied physics; Professor of Photon Science
American Academy of Arts and Sciences:
Brian K. Kobilka, the Helene Irwin Fagan Chair in Cardiology; and Professor
of Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine
Upcoming Workshops and Conferences
12th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation
Instrumentation, July 6-10, 2015, New York City, NY
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 2015) 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
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? Last call to submit a workshop proposal,
Friday, May 8.
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
User Research Administration
The next deadline for submitting standard X-ray/VUV proposals
is June 1 and July 1 for Macromolecular Crystallography proposals.
LCLS PCS proposals are due May 5 by 4 pm.
Submit proposals and beam time requests through the user
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 http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu.
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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn