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Vol. 16, No. 3 - September 2015

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Science Highlights


Watching Spins Travel across BordersContact: Hendrik Ohldag, SSRL

Conventional electronics encode information using the charge of electrons. Spin transport electronics, or spintronics, seeks to encode information using the spin of electrons, up or down. Spintronics has the potential to be more efficient and more reliable, especially as electronic components become smaller. To advance the field, the mechanics of spin transport from one material to another needs to be understood. In a study that develops methods for studying spin transport, a team of scientists looked at how spin information travels between a spin signal source (a ferromagnet) and a non-magnetic material that transports the signal. Read more...

See also:  September 3, 2015 SLAC News Feature

Citation: R. Kukreja, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 24 August 2015 (10.1103/PhysRevLett. 115.096601)


Strong Orbital-selective Correlation Effects Unite Iron Chalcogenide SuperconductorsContact: Donghui Lu, SSRL

A superconductor can carry an electrical current with no resistance, so no energy is lost. This quantum mechanical effect was first discovered in certain materials when cooled to very low temperatures, with the highest record at -250°C. In 1986, a class of high temperature superconductor (HTSC) materials was discovered called cuprates, which show superconducting properties at temperatures as high as -135°C. More recently, superconductivity was found in some iron-containing compounds known as iron-based superconductors (FeSCs).  Read more...

Citation: M. Yi et al., Nat. Commun., 23 July 2015 (10.1038/ncomms8777)

Award Winning Scientists

Feng Lin Wins Spicer Award for Smart Window, Battery Research

Excerpted from September 25, 2015 SLAC Today Article


Feng Lin, a former postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been selected to receive the annual William E. and Diane M. Spicer Young Investigator Award. He is being awarded for x-ray experiments at SSRL that led to improvements in the design of a window coating that can be tuned, with a slight voltage, to adjust the amount of heat and visible light passing through. This can conserve energy by reducing heating and cooling needs in buildings.

“Aided by the x-ray capabilities at SSRL, we figured out a way to make this thin-film device more versatile,” Lin said. “Now it has a clearer and more aesthetic view. You can tune between very dark and very transparent states by applying a slight current, and the switching speed between these states is much faster.”

Lin, who this year joined a startup company focused on developing new energy storage technologies, will receive the award on October 8 during the Annual LCLS/SSRL Annual Users' Meeting and Workshops. 

Given each year to early-career scientists who work with x-rays, the award recognizes Lin’s extensive research over the past several years at SSRL. William Spicer was a co-founder of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project in 1972, which would later become SSRL.  Read more...

Roopali Kukreja Wins 2015 Klein Award for X-ray Work

Excerpted from September 17, 2015 SLAC Today Article


Roopali Kukreja, a former researcher at SLAC who received her PhD in materials science at Stanford University last year, will be honored during our LCLS/SSRL Annual Users' Meeting and Workshops with the Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award for her x-ray studies of nanoscale magnetic and electrical properties of materials.

She played a part in experiments at both SSRL and LCLS, and her doctoral thesis work focused on developing ultrasensitive tools at SSRL to directly measure, for the first time, a magnetic property in electrons known as a “spin current” that scientists hope to tap for a next-generation form of electronics called “spintronics.”

Kukreja said, “We had conducted several experiments at SSRL that we just spent troubleshooting, day after day. We kept fixing the electronics and the setup. We really did face a lot of problems. One of my proudest moments was when, after three years, everything just worked and we saw the extremely small spin-current signal. We had been struggling for so long and it was finally there.”

The award honors its namesake, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory biophysicist who was a pioneer in adapting x-ray and other techniques for exploring biology, including the molecular machinery plants use to harness the sun’s energy and release oxygen into the air we breathe. Read more...

Explore the World of Nobel Laureate Brian Kobilka

Visit the immersive Nobel Labs 360 website about Kobilka, including an interactive tour of his work at SSRL. To find the SSRL section, click twice on the window in the upper right corner.

SSRL Users' Organization Update

Vote for SSRL Users' Executive Committee by October 12

SSRL has a Users' Executive Committee (UEC) that includes user representatives from various scientific areas that utilize SSRL beam lines. The UEC provides an organized framework for interaction between the users and SSRL/SLAC Management. UEC members are elected by the scientific community to communicate the interests of users regarding SSRL operations and user support. The committee meets several times throughout the year – we encourage participation, feedback and suggestions from the general scientific user community. To get involved or to learn more about the UEC, please contact us or join us for meetings. We encourage you to contact any of the UEC members to share your ideas.

This year we will elect new members in the areas listed below.  Please take a few minutes now to review the candidates and cast your ballot for the 2015/2016 SSRL UEC for users from these areas (ballots close at 9 am PACIFIC on October 12):



    Macromolecular Crystallography

    Ultrafast Science

        * * VOTE * *

We hope that you are able to participate in the October 7-10 LCLS/SSRL Annual Users' Meeting and Workshops as well as the Users’ Organization discussion with facility directors at 6 pm on October 8 (in the VUE Center[see below])

Upcoming Workshops and Conferences

– Joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference, October 7-10, 2015

Although advance registration has closed, walk-in registrations may still be accepted to participate in the joint SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Conference on October 7-10.  The $175 registration fee covers meeting logistics, light refreshments and lunch and is waived for students and postdocs who present a poster.  The registration check-in desk will be in the lobby of the new Science and User Support Buidling (SUSB), which is adjacent to the new Visitor, User and Employee Center (see below).

The activities scheduled over this multi-day event provide opportunities to learn about the latest user research results, current/future capabilities and new science opportunities.  Meeting highlights include:

  • Director's Welcome and Facility Updates
  • Invited Plenary Session Talks --
    Patricia Dehmer (DOE):  Perspectives on the Office of Science after 20 Years in Washington
    Axel Brunger (Stanford U):  Using LCLS to Determine the Crystal Structure of a Complex that is Central to Synaptic Neurotransmitter Release
    Stefano Bonetti (Stockholm U):  Spin Currents:  The Key to Nanometer and Femtosecond Magnetism
    Matt Kanan (Stanford U):  Chemical and Electrochemical CO2 Recycling
  • Michael Lubell (CCNY/American Physical Society): Thinking Big and Outside the Box
  • Lytle, Spicer and Klein Award Presentations
    Feng Lin (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) -- 2015 Spicer Young Investigator
  • User Science Poster 'Blitz,' Poster Session and Reception
  • Exhibitors of synchrotron-related equipment, supplies or services
  • Focused Workshops

The plenary session talks, award presentations, exhibits, user poster session and reception will be held on October 8. Several parallel workshops are scheduled for October 7, 9, 10.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 – Parallel Workshops

  • Applications of Ptychography
  • Beyond SASE at the LCLS & LCLS-II
  • Characterization of Ultrafast Magnetization Dynamics Using X-rays
  • Coupled Cycling of Biogeochemical Critical Elements and Contaminants
  • Hybrid Methods for Integrative Structural Biology (Oct 6 at ALS, Oct 7 at SLAC)
  • Time Resolved Studies with Femtosecond X-ray Pulses:  Towards Molecular Movies of Molecules at Work

Friday, October 9, 2015 – Parallel Workshops

  • Advances in High Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy
  • Attosecond FELs:  Capturing the Dynamics of Electrons in the Time Domain
  • LCLS Data Collection, Diagnostics, Analysis, Interpretation
  • New Discoveries in Biology with XFELS
  • Probing Structure and Dynamics of Quantum Materials via X-ray Scattering at LCLS
  • Science Opportunities at SLAC in the Tender X-ray Range (2-5 keV) (Oct 9-10)
  • Scientific Opportunities with PS-Pulses at SSRL
  • Single Particle Imaging Initiative: Year One

Please encourage colleagues, particularly students, to attend and present a poster.   Visit the conference website for the latest program details.


Users will now check in at the new Visitor, User and Employee (VUE) Center

Vue Center

From September 29, 2015, when you arrive at SLAC, you’ll be directed to the new Visitor, User and Employee (VUE) Center located at the Sand Hill Road entrance of the laboratory in the Science and User Support Building (SUSB).  The VUE Center will provide you with everything you need to get you to your destination as soon as possible: including basic online training, badging and dosimeters, and user facility check-in. There will no longer be a need to go to multiple locations.  

When you enter the VUE Center, someone at the reception desk will greet you and point you to the User Services office (if reception is unattended, there will be a sign to direct you).  Jacqueline Kerlegan, whom many of you already know, will be in the VUE Center providing User check-in support.  Once your training, identification and other relevant details are verified, you can get your badge, dosimeter (if necessary) and any other useful information and be on your way.

We’re excited about these changes and what they mean for you, so please don’t hesitate to provide us with feedback and suggestions – which you can do in person at the VUE Center, via email or by commenting in your End of Run survey. 

Questions not answered in the FAQs can be directed to: Sacha Hanigan, VUE Center Manager; Cathy Knotts, SSRL User Research Administration Manager; Elizabeth Goodwin, LCLS User Research Administration Manager.

See also: SLAC Today Article

Call for User Publications, Theses, Awards, Patents

Please let us know about 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:  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 as research results are about to be published so that we have the latest information and can work with you to more broadly communicate your research.

User Research Administration

Proposal Deadlines

  • December 1, 2015 is the deadline for submitting standard SSRL X-ray/VUV and Macromolecular Crystallography proposals. 
  • LCLS Protein Crystal Screening proposals for CXI or XPP are due by 4 PM PACIFIC on October 16.

Beam Time Request Deadline

  • November 15 is the next X-ray/VUV Beam Time Request deadline for February - May scheduling

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