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SSRL Headlines Vol. 8, No. 12  June, 2008


Contents of this Issue:

  1. Science Highlight — Keeping Electronics in Line with the Law
  2. Science Highlight — Electronics go Organic
  3. Safety Reminder
  4. Beam Line Updates
  5. Register for 2008 SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting & Workshops, October 15-18, 2008
  6. Call for Nominations for Spicer, Klein and Lytle Awards
  7. Sign Up for the Synchrotron Summer School, August 17-22, 2008
  8. SSRL User Receives First Polymer International-IUPAC Award
  9. Stanford/SSRL Researchers Receive $25 Million Grant for Solar Research
  10. Kornberg Advises Support for Basic Science to Solve Medical Challenges
  11. Dr. Harriet Kung becomes Associate Director of the Office of Science for the Office of Basic Energy Sciences
  12. User Research Administration Update

1.  Science Highlight — Keeping Electronics in Line with the Law
       (contacts: S. Sun,; P. Pianetta,

dielectrics figure
TEM image of LaAlO3 film on In0.53Ga0.47As with the schematic band diagram. Numbers in parenthesis are measured or calculated in this study.
Researchers working in part at SSRL Beam Lines 8-1 and 10-1 recently characterized the band offsets in a promising semiconductor material that could lead to smaller and faster electronic devices of the future. The results are published in the September 13, 2007 edition of Applied Physics Letters.

The famous Moore's law, which has held true for more than 40 years, says computing power—i.e., the number of transistors on a chip—roughly doubles every 18 months. But traditional electronics using metal-oxide semiconductors are nearing chip design performance limits because the thinner and smaller the components become, the more electric current tends to leak from them, making them inefficient. To keep on top of the curve for smaller and faster electronic devices, new semiconductors must be developed that overcome the limitations of current leakage due to increasingly thin insulating layers.

Using photoemission spectroscopy, Niti Goel of Intel and SSRL scientist Yun Sun successfully measured the alignment of energy bands, or band offsets, between the high-dielectric constant materials lanthanum aluminate (LaAlO3) and the semiconductor substrate indium gallium arsenide (In0.53Ga0.47As) for potential use as ultra-thin insulators. Such measurements are important for engineering efficient semiconductors that will work on the ever shrinking size-scales needed for advanced electronic devices.

To learn more about this research see the full scientific highlight at:

OTFT figure
(a) 2D GIXD pattern. (b) Thin film structure. (c) Normalized NEXAFS spectra for thiotetracene deposited on an OTS treated Si surface.
2.  Science Highlight — Electronics go Organic
       (contacts: Z. Bao,; M.F. Toney,

Using SSRL Beam Lines 11-3 and 10-1, a team of researchers including SSRL scientists Mike Toney and Jan Lüning (now at Université Pierre et Marie Curie), and Stanford University researchers, graduate students, Quan Yuan and Mingle Tang, postdoc Stefan Mannsfeld and Prof. Zhenan Bao, have determined the precise arrangement of molecules within a thin film sample of an organic semiconductor, a step that could soon help scientists better design these materials. The results appear in the March 19, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Although well-understood, traditional silicon semiconductors are costly to manufacture, making large arrays of efficient solar arrays, for example, expensive. Organic semiconductors represent a potential source of inexpensive electronics that may one day be used to make solar cells, LCD displays and electronic paper.

Using Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) and Grazing Incidence X-ray Diffraction, the team examined thin-film samples of the organic, or "plastic," semiconductor material called thiotetracene, which was first reported by Prof. Zhenan Bao's group. Results obtained using the two techniques to determine the molecular arrangement of the semiconductor gives researchers a better understanding of how the molecular structure of the material relates to its electronic properties, paving the way for greater control over manufacturing such materials.

To learn more about this research see the full scientific highlight at:

3.   Safety Reminder

With this note I want to remind everyone to renew their personal commitment to safety and the prevention of accidents while working at SSRL. We must all plan and execute our work under the motto "Do it right, or don't do it." Did you know that one-third of accidents are caused by "slips, trips and falls". To avoid these, please keep your work area tidy, wipe up spilled liquids, and use hand rails when walking down stairs. When working at SSRL, if you see something that does not look or feel safe, please interject and question the activity and, if necessary, let management know. Please do not be afraid to stop someone from an unsafe activity. Safety is everyone's responsibility, and all of you should feel comfortable in taking an active role in ensuring your safety as well as the safety of those around you. Feel free to contact me or the SSRL Safety Officers Behzad Bozorg-Chami and Matt Padilla with questions, concerns or feedback related to site safety at SSRL. Thank you for your attention, and let's work together to improve site safety for everyone's benefit.

—Joachim Stöhr

4.   Beam Line Updates

A Brand New BL4:
  (contacts: J. Bagnasco,; T. Rabedeau,

First light through the BL4-2 hutch
SSRL is in the final stages of upgrading the last of the insertion device beam lines that predates SPEAR3. During the past year, the BL4 wiggler and front end were relocated from the SPEAR3 13s straight radiating into Building 131 to the 16s straight radiating into Building 130 while the rest of the beam line optics, components, electronics, and shielding were replaced for compatibility with 500-mA operations of SPEAR3. The upgraded BL4 includes a water-cooled mirror and liquid nitrogen-cooled monochromator on each of the three branch lines. The BL4-3 M0 mirror system features a new mechanical design which should decrease the pitch-bend coupling experienced with the SSRL standard hard x-ray mirror mechanical system and allow for an elliptical figure if one is necessary. The beam line shielding includes extensive use of in-vacuum tungsten to reduce the amount of external lead required to shield wiggler beam line components. This change will benefit beam line technical staff by facilitating improved access to most hardware for modification and/or problem solving. First light was extracted from BL4 during machine physics on June 3. Initial optics characterization and optimization followed for the next several weeks culminating in a comprehensive radiation survey which was completed successfully on June 23. During the remainder of the run further optics characterization and optimization efforts will interleave with experimental station equipment commissioning and initial test data set collection. In particular, the improved small angle scattering instrumentation for structural biology and the associated new Rayonix MX225-HE detector will be commissioned on BL4-2.

SRN cover
SRN May/June 2008
  BL6-2: High Resolution, Hard X-ray Bio-Imaging Facility Featured in SRN
    (contacts: J. Andrews,; P. Pianetta,

The new x-ray imaging facility at SSRL BL6-2, based on an Xradia nano-XCT full-field transmission x-ray microscope (TXM), can provide complementary and unique capabilities to the current microscopy methods for studying complex biological systems. A technical report on the new TXM capabilities was featured in the May/June 2008 issue of SRN (as well as on the cover). Read more at:

User Mtg banner
5.   Register for 2008 SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting & Workshops, October 15-18, 2008

Register now to participate in the Joint SSRL/LCLS Users' Meeting and Workshops which will be held here at SLAC October 15-18, 2008. Start to think about sharing your recent research results during the user science poster session. This annual event is a valuable opportunity to learn about the latest plans, new developments and exciting user research at SSRL and LCLS. It is also a great time to interact with other scientists, potential colleagues, staff and vendors of light source-related products and services. LCLS/SSRL 2008 will begin on October 15 with presentations related to LCLS Science and Instrumentation, LCLS user access policies, updates on LCLS user operations, and a meeting of the LCLS user community. SSRL workshop options will be held concurrently on this day, including: Crystallography Made Easy through Automation, and Advanced Topics in EXAFS Analysis and Applications. The joint LCLS/SSRL session on October 16 will feature a keynote presentation by SLAC Director Persis Drell on the Future of Photon Science at SLAC, updates from SLAC and DOE, user science highlights, and the user science poster session. The Spicer Young Investigator Award, Klein Professional Development Award, and Lytle Award will be presented on this day. SSRL sessions on Structural Molecular Biology, Materials and Environmental Sciences, and facility updates continue on October 17, to be followed by a meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization. LCLS-related workshops will be held October 17-18: Application of Coherent X-rays at the LCLS, Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics with the LCLS, and Soft X-ray Instrumentation for LCLS.

6.   Call for Nominations for Spicer, Klein and Lytle Awards
       (contact: C. Knotts,

Please take a few moments to consider nominating your colleagues or students for one or more of the following awards which will be presented at the Joint SSRL and LCLS Users' Meeting, October 15-18, 2008:

William E. Spicer Young Investigator Award -due August 1

Melvin P. Klein Professional Development Award -due August 1

Farrel W. Lytle Award -due August 15

7.   Sign Up for the Synchrotron Summer School, August 17-22, 2008

school banner
The Stanford-Berkeley Summer School is jointly organized by Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SSRL. The goal of the school is to disseminate information about scientific opportunities in synchrotron radiation applications and train students on experimental techniques. It provides an interdisciplinary and intellectually stimulating environment for new and experienced researchers. Interaction between lecturers and students is stimulated through dedicated problem solving sessions and round table discussions. The weeklong residential program provides a comprehensive overview of the synchrotron radiation process, requisite technologies, different methods, and a broad range of scientific applications. It will cover both fundamentals of EUV, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray synchrotron radiation and its use in spectroscopy and diffraction. Science applications will be given both in physics, chemistry and material science. Lectures are presented by scientists from the sponsoring organizations and affiliated user communities. The attendees will participate in experiments, simulations or tours at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) and at SSRL. Participation in the summer school is kept to about 40 students who come from various parts of the world for this comprehensive overview of the synchrotron radiation process and its applications related to spectroscopy and diffraction.

8.   SSRL User Receives First Polymer International-IUPAC Award

Z. Bao
Zhenan Bao
Zhenan Bao, associate professor of chemical engineering and the principal investigator for the organic semiconductor research highlighted above, has won the Polymer International-International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Award for Creativity in Applied Polymer Science or Polymer Technology. The award celebrates achievements of young researchers in the polymer industry. In announcing the award, the IUPAC described Bao as "a world leader in the field of organic and polymer electronics." She will receive $5,000 and is scheduled to present a lecture titled "Polymers for Flexible Electronics" at an IUPAC meeting, MACRO 2008, in Taiwan on July 4.

9.   Stanford/SSRL Researchers Receive $25 Million Grant for Solar Research
       —excerpt from Stanford Report, Dan Stober

Saudi Arabia's new science and technology university has made another large grant to Stanford researchers, this time revolving around solar power.

The $25 million grant from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or KAUST, spans the next five years beginning this month and will fund a new center at Stanford, the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics.

The center will be directed by Michael McGehee, associate professor of materials science and engineering. The deputy director is Peter Peumans, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Integrated Circuits Laboratory at the Center for Integrated Systems, who is also affiliated with the Woods Institute for the Environment. Kelly Gaffney, a member of the SLAC Photon Science Faculty, and SSRL staff scientist, Michael Toney, are co-PI's on the grant which will make use of the capabilities of SSRL Beam Lines 1-4, 2-1, 7-2, 10-1 and 11-3 to advance part of the research. Zhenan Bao, mentioned above, along with Alberto Salleo and Gerry Fuller are also SSRL users and KAUST co-PI's.

10.   Kornberg Advises Support for Basic Science to Solve Medical Challenges
       (excerpt from Stanford Report, Donna Alvarado, Stanford School of Medicine)

R. Kornberg giving commencement speech
Roger Kornberg giving commencement speech
Before they dispersed to the hospitals, research labs and industry niches that would be their future, some 200 graduates of the Stanford School of Medicine heard a call from one of Stanford's own Nobel laureates to remember what made it all possible: basic science. Roger Kornberg, PhD, who won the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry, urged graduates to support the pursuit of basic science research done purely for its own sake, without regard to purpose or application, that has fueled the major advances in medicine in the last 100 years. He cited everything from antibiotics to genetic engineering to x-rays.

"To solve a basic problem in medicine," Kornberg told the commencement audience, "don't study it directly; rather, pursue a curiosity about nature and the rest will follow." Read more at:

11.   Dr. Harriet Kung becomes Associate Director of the Office of Science for the Office of Basic Energy Sciences

H. Kung
Harriet Kung
Dr. Patricia Dehmer, Deputy Director for Science Programs, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the appointment of Dr. Harriet Kung as the Associate Director of the Office of Science for the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), effective June 9, 2008.

Dr. Kung served as the Director of the BES Materials Sciences and Engineering Division since June 2004, where she oversaw a portfolio of condensed matter and materials physics programs with an annual budget of more than $250 million. She has played a leadership role in recent BES strategic planning activities, beginning with the 2002 workshop Basic Research Needs to Assure a Secure Energy Future. She subsequently defined and led a number of follow-on workshops that determined scientific directions that will help drive transformational advances to meet our need for abundant, clean, and economical energy. Dr. Kung also led a number of research integration activities with the DOE applied research programs to define science-to-technology pathways, and she represented the Department in corresponding interagency and international coordination activities. Read more at:

12.   User Research Administration Update
       (contact: C. Knotts,

Mini-Shutdown: As reported in the March edition of Headlines, SSRL user operations will be shut down for 2-1/2 weeks, June 30-July 15, 2008. Although the reduced operating schedule is due to budget constraints, we plan to utilize the down time for equipment maintenance and accelerator physics studies. During this shutdown, equipment related to top off injection will be installed. Other activities which would normally disrupt user operations such as seismic retrofit construction needed in Building 120 have also been scheduled during this shutdown. User operations will resume on July 16 and continue until August 11 when the 2008 run year ends.

Rapid Access Mechanisms for Beam Time at SSRL: There are a few remaining rapid access slots in late July and early August. If you have an exciting new research project and only need a few shifts of beam time to conduct your feasibility experiment, consider submitting a rapid access application. These proposals can be submitted at any time and are peer reviewed very quickly so that the highest rated proposals can be scheduled within just a few days to a few weeks:

Rapid Access (BL2-3 Microprobe)

Rapid Access (BL11-2 MEIS XAS)

Rapid Access (BL11-3 X-ray Diffraction)

Rapid Access (BLs 7-1, 9-1, 9-2, 11-1 Macromolecular Crystallography)

Interested in dinner? Here is your chance to share your opinion about the availability of food at the SLAC cafeteria weekdays, 5-8 pm. If you are interested in this potential option, just complete this simple survey to have your vote count:


SSRL Headlines is published electronically monthly to inform SSRL users, sponsors and other interested people about happenings at SSRL. SSRL is a national synchrotron user facility operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Additional support for the structural biology program is provided by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, the NIH National Center for Research Resources and the NIH Institute for General Medical Sciences. Additional information about SSRL and its operation and schedules is available from the SSRL WWW site.


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Last Updated: 26 JUN 2008
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