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Vol. 14, No. 2 - August 2013
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Science Highlights


Nanoparticulate FeS as an Effective Redox Buffer to Prevent Uraninite (UO2) OxidationContacts: Yuqiang Bi and Kim F. Hayes,  University of Michigan

A major concern in the nuclear age is the contamination of soils and groundwater with radionuclides from nuclear weapons and fuel production as well as other human activities. One of the most prevalent contaminants is uranium (U), whose mobility greatly depends on its oxidation state. Oxidized uranium, U(VI), is soluble and can spread into groundwater. In contrast, reduced uranium, U(IV), is often found in sparingly soluble phases such as solid uraninite, UO2, and its low solubility reduces the environmental risk. Naturally-occurring iron sulfide (FeS) is known to be an important electron source for the reduction of uranium and oxidant scavenging. Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have recently used SSRL’s X-rays to shed light on the role of FeS in protecting UO2 from reoxidation. This study may help evaluate the long-term stability of uranium contaminations in the subsurface. Read more...


Quantification of the Mercury Adsorption Mechanism on Brominated Activated CarbonContact: Jennifer Wilcox, Stanford University

Emissions from coal-fired power plants are a major source of atmospheric mercury. To remove toxic mercury from exhausts, special filters that bind mercury are used in the duct systems of power plants. Researchers from Stanford University have approximated the conditions of an industrial exhaust in their lab by placing filter materials in a gas stream doped with trace amounts of mercury. Using SSRL’s Beam Line 7-3, the scientists determined the binding mode of mercury in their samples. Understanding the precise mercury-binding mechanism is of great interest for improving existing filters and designing new materials.  Read more...

Upcoming Events

Register Now for LCLS/SSRL Annual Users' Meeting and Workshops

Join us at our Annual Users' Meeting and Workshops scheduled October 1-4. More than a dozen workshops, awards presentations and keynote talks will highlight the scientific capabilities, new developments and latest research at SLAC's user facilities, and provide a forum to interact with existing and potential colleagues, and exhibitors.

The registration fee has been reduced this year to $100 and is waived for students (including postdocs), so please make plans to attend and present a  poster to share your latest research results.  Abstract submission is now open on the meeting website. 

Registration fees can be paid in advance by credit card, checks drawn in U.S. funds, or can be paid at the on-site registration desk. SLAC employees can use STAP funds for the registration fee. Please note that separate registration is required for satellite events.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS - October 3 Plenary Session

  • Towards a Sustainable Energy Future - Arun Majumdar (Google)
  • Exploring Matter in Extreme Conditions - Siegfried Glenzer (Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Sciences - SIMES)
  • Science Case for Diffraction Limited Storage Ring - Oleg Shpyrko (University of California San Diego)
  • Science Case for Short-Pulse Time-Resolved Studies at SSRL - Aaron Lindenberg (Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Sciences - SIMES)
  • Novel Short Pulses at LCLS - Ryan Coffee (LCLS)

AWARD PRESENTATIONS & TALKS - October 3 Plenary Session

  • Spicer Young Investigator Award - Jonathan Rivnay (Centre Microelectronique de Provence), Disorder, defects and charge transport in organic electronics
  • Klein Scientific Development Award - Gaurav Giri (Stanford University), Utilizing Non-equilibrium Polymorphism as an Avenue to High Performance Organic Semiconductors
  • Farrel Lytle Award - TBA


  • Oct 1:  Exploring an Inverse Compton Source (ICS) at SLAC. Organizers: Yijin Liu, Anne Sakdinawat, Mike Toney
  • Oct 1:  Integrating Synchrotron Techniques into Environmental Carbon Science. Organizers: Colleen Hansel, John Bargar
  • Oct 1:  X-ray Spectroscopy for Chemical Catalysis. Organizers:  Mali Balasubramanian, Tsu-Chien Weng, Jun-Sik Lee
  • Oct 1:  New Directions for High-Energy Density (HED) Physics at the Matter in Extreme Conditions Instrument. Organizers: Siegfried Glenzer, Phil Heimann
  • Oct 1:  Toward a Modular Framework for Lightsource Experiment Simulation. Organizer: Garth Williams
  • Oct 2:  AMO Instrument Upgrades: Opportunities in New Science. Organizer:  Christoph Bostedt
  • Oct 2:  LCLS Detectors. Organizers:  Gabriella Carini, Chris Kenney
  • Oct 2:  LCLS Data Analysis. Organizer:  Amedeo Perazzo
  • Oct 2:  MicroXAS Imaging with SSRL's New 2-5 keV Beam Line 14-3. Organizer:  Sam Webb
  • Oct 2:  Synchrotron Techniques in Metal Biogeochemistry:  Across Time and Spatial Scales. Organizers: Colleen Hansel, John Bargar
  • Oct 4:  Frontiers in Quantum Solids: Combining Soft X-rays and Ultra-fast Techniques. Organizers: Bill Schlotter, Josh Turner
  • Oct 4:  Software for Serial Crystallography Data Analysis. Organizers: Anton Barty, Thomas White, Marc Messerschmidt
  • Oct 4:  Scientific Opportunities Using High Repetition X-ray Sources with 1-10 ps Bunch Length. Organizers:  Hendrik Ohldag, Apurva Mehta
  • Oct 4:  Early Career Scientist Forum. Organizers: Hae Ja Lee, Andre Schleife

OTHER SATELLITE EVENTS (Register Separately)

  • Oct 1-2:  Using X-rays to Study Cultural Heritage. Organizers: Marc Walton (The Getty Conservation Institute), Apurva Mehta (SSRL) Register
  • Oct 1-2:  High-Intensity Laser-Plasma Interactions with a Free Electron Laser. Organizers: Siegfried Glenzer (SIMES), Roger Falcone (LBNL), Stefan Hau-Riege (LLNL) Register

Registration and Abstract Submission are open on the Conference website.

Awards and Honors

Former Stanford Grad Student Receives Spicer Award
From August 22, 2013 SLAC Today Article by Glenn Roberts Jr.


Jonathan Rivnay, a former Stanford graduate student who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Microelectronics in Provence, France, will receive this year's William E. and Diane M. Spicer Young Investigator Award in recognition of his synchrotron studies of organic semiconductors.

The award, honoring synchrotron pioneer and Stanford University professor William "Bill" Spicer, who died in 2004, and wife Diane, who died in 2009, is presented annually.  The award ceremony will be held October 3, during the

"I was very honored and surprised when I heard about the Spicer award," Rivnay said last week. "I was actually on holiday, and when I first checked my email I was greeted by a full inbox: the notification, as well as a slew of congratulatory emails." He added, "I certainly know a number of the previous recipients. It's quite a distinguished group."  Read more...


In the News

Encouraging Women in Science and Technology

As the country celebrated Women’s Equality Day on August 26, we are reminded of the gains that women enjoy today that took an incredible effort to secure. In his Women’s Equality Day proclamation, President Obama noted  that we celebrate the progress that has been made, and renew our commitment to securing equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities for women everywhere. Read the ongoing series Women @ Energy, which highlights more than 100 women in STEM at the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories and headquarters, including several women from SLAC.

User Research Administration Update

Macromolecular Crystallography Beam Time Requests Due September 15

Beam Time Requests for shifts on Macromolecular Crystallography beam lines (7-1, 9-2, 11-1, 12-2 and 14-1) during our November through February scheduling period are due September 15.  Request beam time via the user portal

New X-ray/VUV and Macromolecular Crystallography Proposals Due December 1

X-ray/VUV proposals can be submitted three times a year: December 1, June 1, and September 1.  Proposals submitted by December 1 will eligible for beam time beginning in May 2014. 

Macromolecular Crystallography proposals can be submitted December 1, April 1 and July 1.  Proposals submitted by the December 1 deadline will be eligible for beam time beginning in March 2014.

Submit proposals through the user portal.

Inform Us of Publications

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 the facility 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 funding agencies. Please contact us as results are about to be published so that we can work with you to more broadly communicate your research. More information and acknowledgement statements can be found on our publications page.

Automated Gate Access Now in Effect

Automated access through gates 17 and 30 is now in effect 24/7.  Once we resume user operations in the fall it is going to be more important than ever to inform us of who is expected to participate in scheduled experiments at our facility.  New and returning users who do not have a proximity activated badge will need to stop at the Security Office near the Main Gate to get a temporary proximity card in order to proceed through Gate 17 to access SSRL or LCLS buildings.


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