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Vol. 20, No. 5 - January 2020

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Science Highlight

Electronic Nematicity without Magnetism in FeSeContact: Donghui Lu, SSRL

In superconducting materials, electron clouds can align into a specific order termed nematicity, a word taken from a root meaning string-like and previously used for alignment of molecules in liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Most iron-based high-temperature superconductors (FeSCs) exhibit nematic order and magnetic order in conjunction with superconducting behavior. Iron selenide (FeSe) is a type of FeSC material that obtains nematic but not magnetic alignment prior to reaching the superconducting state. This provides an excellent opportunity to disentangle the contribution of these two orders that usually emerge simultaneously. Studies of FeSe have faced the challenge that FeSe crystals break into orthogonally-oriented domains at the onset of nematic order, a process called twinning. A team of researchers has found a way to detwin FeSe crystals to examine the nematic state to gain a deeper understanding of how it affects superconductivity.  Read more...

New Facilities Coming Soon

Beam Line Developments

This is an exciting time with new beam lines under development at SSRL. We know that the experimental floor is a busy place and that people are curious about the new beam line construction, but we remind everyone to exercise caution in construction areas, particularly between BL15 and BL11-3. As the beam lines become operational, we will provide detailed information. Beam line map

Advanced Spectroscopy Capabilities to Move from BL6-2b to BL15-2.  Commissioning for our new advanced spectroscopy undulator beam line, 15-2, is underway. During the transition, some XES/XRS equipment will be moved from BL6-2 to BL15-2. The beam line will provide new capabilities for time-resolved studies.

Materials Scattering Capabilities to Move from BL7-2 to BL17-2.  A new undulator beam line is in construction for the materials scattering community. BL17-2 will add new capabilities in the form of a micro-focused beam, with high flux.  The end station will be capable of performing simultaneous SAXS/WAXS measurements, as well as experiments which require the 6-circle diffractometer which will move from 7-2.  The work on the beam line is progressing rapidly.  The hutch, optics, and beam transport systems have been installed.  First light to the monochrometer slits was achieved Tuesday the 27th of January.  We look forward to running commissioning experiments at the end of cycle 3 for this run. BL7-2 will no longer be available for user experiments after February 2020 when equipment will be moved from that line for installation on BL17-2.

Microfocus Macromolecular Crystallography BL12-1 in Commissioning.  This is SSRL’s second microbeam undulator beam line for structural biology, funded as a PRT with Stanford and The Scripps Research Institute as partners.  BL12-1 will feature a pixel array detector (Eiger X 16M), a flexible monochromator with rapid switching between crystals or multilayers, and a high-speed micro-goniometer.  It will support a range of sample environments (cryogenic to room temperature with humidity control) and sample delivery systems, including injectors and multiple-sample containers. 

Soft X-ray Metrology Capabilities on BL16-2.  Commissioning is underway on BL16-2, a soft x-ray beam line dedicated for the characterization of x-ray detectors, x-ray optics and dispersive components. BL16-2 is equipped with a theta/2 theta system, motorized x,y,z motion sample adjustment with manual tilt adjustment, two in-vacuum JJ slit assemblies, 3 different detectors (IRD silicon photodiode, windowless Amptec SDD, and a Amptec SDD with a 0.3 micron Be window). 

See SSRL beam line techniques and parameters

Publications Request

Request for Publications Related to SSRL Beam Time

SSRL provides technical tools for user experiments with the requirement that scientists will report and properly acknowledge use of our facility and funding agencies in resulting publications.  Acknowledgement templates are provided on our website.

With a DOE triennial review coming up in the spring it will be important to have up-to-date records of 2017-2019 publications related to work done at SSRL. Please take a few minutes to review our publications database to confirm that your most recent SSRL-related publications are included, and please enter the information on any that are missing.


Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Center Beginning Practical Workshop, Mar 23–25, 2020

The Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Center (S2C2) will offer a beginning cryo-EM training workshop March 23–25, 2020. Onsite attendance for the lecture sessions is limited to ~40 participants with additional access provided via Zoom teleconferencing. The hands-on sessions are limited to 12 participants. There is no fee for this workshop.  The first round of notifications for onsite participation in the hands-on sessions will be sent out on February 15.  Registration will remain open until March 15 for onsite lecture sessions only and remote participation.  Workshop Website  

RapiData 2020 at SSRL is a practical course in macromolecular x-ray diffraction data collection, data processing and structure solution. The aim of the RapiData course is to educate and train young scientists in data collection and processing methods at synchrotron beamlines, using state-of-the-art software and instrumentation. RapiData 2020 Website

Cryo-EM Image Processing Workshop, Jun 8–10, 2020 — Save the Date

U.S. Particle Accelerator School Summer 2020 Session  USPAS Website

78th Annual Pittsburgh Diffraction Society Conference, Menlo Park, CA, Sep 27–29, 2020

SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting and Workshops, Sep 30–Oct 2, 2020


Check out the new video for, a global resource for news and science highlights, facility capabilities and contacts, conferences and events, and job opportunities as well as photos, videos, education and outreach resources for international light source user facilities. Subscribe to keep up with the latest news and developments.

Guest House Remodeling Postponed

In December we reported that the SLAC Guest House projected limited availability during renovations planned for January-March. However, we have since learned that these renovations have been postponed. Users are advised to make reservations as early as possible to secure a place at the Guest House.  User Reservations

Coronavirus Information and Related Travel Restrictions

There is a global public health emergency regarding an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), originating in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low.

Stanford University’s Public Health Policy Committee is closely monitoring developments and provides answers to some of the most pressing questions about this situation on its website which will be updated as new information is learned, please see

Some specific information regarding SLAC operations include:

  • Visitors/Users coming from China: The federal government has temporarily suspended entry into the United States for any foreign nationals who have traveled in China within the last 14 days.  
  • Any users, irrespective of nationality, who are scheduled for beam time and have visited China since January 15 needs to contact the SSRL User Administration before attempting to come on site.

Stanford University and SLAC leadership are actively monitoring the developing situation with respect to the spread of the disease and potential impacts to lab functions. Site access recommendations will be revisited based on the best available data and recommendations from the Centers for Disease

User Research Administration

The FY2020 user run will continue through August 10, 2020, with a brief down time scheduled April 6–14, 2020. See Experimental Run Schedules 

Beam Time Requests

  • Feb 22, 2020 – Users with active X-ray/VUV proposals who desire beam time May–Aug 2020 and who have not reached their estimated shifts are encouraged to submit beam time requests.  Remember to submit separate requests for each beam line, configuration or dates desired.
  • Apr 17, 2020 – Macromolecular Crystallography (Jun–Aug 2020 scheduling)

Proposal Deadlines

  • Mar 1, 2020 – S2C2 Cryo-EM Service/Training Proposals
  • Apr 1, 2020 – Macromolecular Crystallography
  • May 1, 2020 – X-ray / VUV

Submit beam time requests and proposals through the User Portal.  Questions can be directed to the SSRL User Office or the CryoEM User Office


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