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Vol. 18, No. 11 - June 2018

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From the Director ______________________________________________________


I am looking forward to sharing SSRL's recent scientific achievements, facility developments, and future plans with you at our upcoming Annual SSRL/LCLS Users’ Meeting. The meeting organizers are trying a different format this year, with several focused workshops throughout September 25-28 and plenary sessions held the mornings of Wednesday, September 26 and Thursday, September 27.  During the morning plenary sessions, there will be several invited speakers, presentations honoring awardees for their outstanding science and roles in our community, an update from the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, facility updates, and a town hall discussion. 

We look forward to seeing you at the Users' Meeting.


Science Highlight ______________________________________________________

Redox-transformation Kinetics of Aqueous Thio-arsenic Species Determining Arsenic Sequestration by Organic Thiol Groups of Peat Contacts: Britta Planer-Friedrich and Johannes Besold (Bayreuth University, Germany)


Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid which has attracted the attention of the general public because of its natural toxic concentrations in drinking water of millions of people around the world.   Arsenite has been reported to be effectively sequestered in peatlands by sulfhydryl groups of natural organic matter. How this affects arsenic sequestration in peatlands and the extent to which porewater arsenite can react with reduced sulfur to form thioarsenates is unknown.  Read more

Citation: J. Besold et al., Environ. Sci. Technol. (2018), DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01542

SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting - September 25-28, 2018 ___________________________

Online registration is open.  Click here to register now!

The program is coming together for the SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting and Workshops to be held here at SLAC, September 25-28, 2018, so check out the conference website and register to attend. Please help to spread the word – encourage your colleagues to participate and share their latest results or new capabilities at the poster session. There will be an opportunity to promote your poster at the Poster Blitz and compete for Joe Wong Outstanding Poster Awards.

The September 26 and 27 plenary sessions will include a welcome from SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao, an update by Harriet Kung (DOE BES), updates by facility directors Kelly Gaffney and Mike Dunne who will also lead a town-hall discussion, and invited talks by Eric Lin (NIST), David Reis (Stanford), Junko Yano (LBNL), and Peter Weber (Brown University).

Workshops will be held on each day, covering the following topics:

  • Metals in Structural Biology
  • Catalysis by Single Metal Atoms: What is All the Fuss About?
  • High-Pressure Materials, Energy, and Environmental Sciences Using SSRL and LCLS
  • LCLS-II Early Science
  • Joint Cryo-EM/SSRL SMB Workshop
  • Machine Learning for X-ray Science: From Machine Optimization to Experimental Planning
  • Advancing Informational Gain from Synchrotron Techniques in Subsurface Science
  • Defects and Interfaces in Batteries Probed by Synchrotron X-ray Techniques
  • Computational Workflows for X-ray Science
  • User-Focused Beam Line Control and Monitoring for X-ray Science
  • Tips to Communicate your Science
  • Dynamic Phenomena Revealed by Non-Linear Optical Spectroscopy
  • Gas Phase Chemistry from Femto- to Attosecond Physics
  • Sample Delivery
  • Ultrafast Electron Diffraction (UED)

We welcome your input and seek nominations for several awards which will be presented at the conference, including:

LCLS Young Investigator Award -- Submit Nominations by JULY 27

Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award -- Submit Nominations by AUGUST 1

Farrel W. Lytle Award -- Submit Nominations by AUGUST 5

Nominations Open for SSRL Users' Executive Committee (UEC)

By submitting a proposal or participating in beam time at SSRL, scientists are automatically included in the SSRL user community and a member of the SSRL Users' Organization (SSRLUO). The SSRLUO is broadly concerned with representing the interests of the SSRL user community. Users elect members to serve on a formal organizational unit, the SSRL Users Executive Committee (SSRL UEC), to carry out the business of the SSRLUO. The SSRL UEC organizes and hosts an Annual Users' Meeting, jointly with the LCLS UEC, which provides opportunities to learn about the latest user research results, current/future capabilities and new science opportunities as well as to interact with other scientists.

The SSRL UEC seeks nominations for the election to be held in September and welcomes your input. Candidates are needed to represent several disciplines including Materials/Chemistry, Environmental/Geosciences, Bio Spectroscopy/Bio SAXS, and Ultrafast Science. Postdoctoral candidates (in any discipline) are also needed to represent the postdoc community at SSRL. Please submit nominations online before September 5.

Honors and Awards _____________________________________________________

SSRL User and Proposal Review Panel Member, Ingrid Pickering, Appointed as Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation Board of Directors

Excerpt from June 20, 2018 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


The Honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced the appointment of Dr. Ingrid J. Pickering as Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Board of Directors, the first woman to serve in this position. She will lead the Board for a three-year term, effective immediately. Dr. Pickering is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Environmental Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research uses synchrotron x-ray techniques to study metals and other elements in biological systems that are important to the environment and human health.  Read more...

See related article.

Congratulations to Claresta Joe-Wong

At the recent diploma ceremony for graduates of the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, graduates were urged to do good and be agile. Several awards were announced, including the Harriet Benson Fellowship which was awarded to SSRL graduate student and user Claresta Joe-Wong.  Read more...

Upcoming Events ______________________________________________________

  • 9th SSRL School on Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Techniques in Materials and Environmental Sciences: July 16-18, 2018  School website
  • Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory – 2018 National School on Neutron & X-ray Scattering: July 22-August 4, 2018  Event website
  • SSRL Synchrotron X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Summer School: August 13-16, 2018  School website
  • SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting at SLAC: September 25-28, 2018  Meeting website
  • Advanced Light Source – 6th International DLSR Workshop: October 29-31, 2018, LBNL  Workshop website
  • U.S. Particle Accelerator School (USPAS) – Winter 2019 Session: January 21 – February 1, 2019
    Course description website

User Research Administration _____________________________________________

SSRL user operations will be shut down during these scheduled breaks:

  • July 4, 2018
  • July 23, 2018 through mid-October 2018 for facility upgrades and maintenance before the FY2019 user run resumes

SSRL Beam Time Request Deadline

  • August 8, 2018 – X-ray / VUV

SSRL Proposal Deadline

  • August 1, 2018 – X-ray / VUV (for beam time eligibility beginning in 2019)

See SSRL Proposal & Scheduling Guidelines and 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 Tomoko Nakai or Lisa Dunn