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SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: July 30, 2004 1-5 pm

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Attendees:   Uwe Bergmann, Benjamin Bostick, Linda Brinen, Lisa Downward, Andy Fisher, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Anneli Munkholm, Piero Pianetta, Deanne Jackson Rudd, Glenn Waychunas

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on July 30, 2004. A summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Benjamin Bostick, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 1 pm.

  • Keith Hodgson welcomed the SSRLUOEC and remarked that the advice and support of the users was critical to SSRL. Keith discussed the strategic vision for SSRL over the next several years, SPEAR3 status and beam line expansion capacity including TXM, PX, MatSAXS, Hi-ResPES, SCund1, and SCund2. There is an opportunity for users to provide input into future beam lines that are up for definition. (ACTION)
    • A proposed SAXS/WAXS experimental station could be used for nanoparticles (FeOOH, TiO2, ashphaltenes), polymers, supramolecular assemblies, catalysts, metallic glasses, nanoporous materials, and thin films.
    • The proposed science for an inelastic x-ray scattering and advanced spectroscopy facility could include: bulk characterization of low Z elements (XRS) in ambient and extreme conditions, characterization of 3D metals (XES, RIXS, and S-XAS). A workshop to identify scientific problems and beam line parameters was held in October 2003. For 2004, we plan to build first element for X-ray Raman spectrometer to be used at existing wiggler station for testing and first experiments. For 2005 and beyond, complete XRS instrument and build RIXS/XES spectrometer; dedicated station at insertion device beam line; and investigate dispersive optics for applications at LCLS.
    • For the hard x-ray microscopy facility, beam time scheduled in March, May and July for commissioning of a fluorescence microprobe for 2D and 3D imaging on BL6-2. The advantages of a hard x-ray microscopy facility are: examination of thick samples in ambient atmosphere, fluorescence yield (XANES) and phase contrast imaging, large depth of focus, and large working distance. Two scientific areas have been identified: 1) study of the architectural structure of bone (NASA, UCSF, Cornell), and 2) study of microbes in wound tissue (NASA), determination of locations and dynamics of microbes in tissue by virtual sectioning, immuno-labeling and 3D mapping.
    • The soft x-ray beam line proposal involves three endstations to facilitate materials, surface, environmental science, chemistry and biology: user chamber, STXM/speckle, spectroscopy. The beam line was funded by DOE in July 2003; commissioning is planned for late calendar 2005 or the first part of 2006. A new proposal for the interferometer controlled scanning transmission x-ray microscope (STXM) is planned later in 2004. The STXM will be developed in collaboration with H. Ade (NCSU) based on ALS polymer-STXM design. New capabilities could include: extended photon energy range, incorporate fluorescence yield detector, incorporate streak camera.

  • Keith reported that the LCLS had received 32 Letter of Intent proposals involving 256 investigators. The LCLS SAC met in July and recommended that the initial program be organized around 5 themes: AMO science; coherent scattering at the nanoscale; pump/probe diffraction dynamics; nano-particle and single molecule (non-periodic) imaging; and pump/probe high energy density physics. A proposal to the DOE BES for an ultrafast science center was funded starting in August 2004. It was noted that more active user outreach could help to engage potential users early on, gauge the interest of the community, and generate ideas for new experiments with LCLS. (ACTION)

  • Britt Hedman presented a status report on the experimental stations available during the 2004 user run. To date, operations have resumed on: BL9-3, 9-1, 9-2, 5-4, 10-2, 10-1, 6-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-3, 7-2, 2-3, 2-1, 8-2, 8-1, 4-2, 1-4. Although not ready for users during the 2004 run, BL1-5 (crystallography) and BL2-2 (white beam) are expected to be available in October 2004; BL3-1 (LIGA) not finished with the Radiation Physics process, may be ready to resume operations in early 2005; BL3-3 (soft energy), possibly, early 2005 with interim optics (final optics in 2006-2007).
    • Beam line work planned during the 2004 summer shutdown includes: BL5-new slits and BPM; BL6-new optics (M0 and M1 mirror and associated hardware) and new shielding; BL10-masks, slits, etc.; Bl11-new graphite filters. During the 2005 holiday shutdown (December 22, 2004-January 2, 2005) all of BL9 is scheduled for work including new optics, associated hardware, slit jaws, masks, etc.; user operations expected to resume on BL9-1, 9-2 and 9-3 by the end of January.
    • Future beam line work includes: BL5-1/5-2 (photoemission)-first beam through new rebuilt beam line seen July 2004, beam line ready for users in 2005; BL7-run BL7-2 through July 2005 as is, BL7-1 and 7-3 down with rebuild of all of BL7 planned during the summer 2005 shutdown (in conjunction with earthquake/shielding work needed on the Building 120 shield wall which stretches from BL2 to BL10); BL4-1/4-3 (XAS) closed through approximately 2006 when all of BL4 should be ready for 500 mA and final optics.
    • The biggest uncertainty in timing is Radiation Physics (RP) review for 500 mA operation of beam lines; the process is not yet started but will take advantage of beam line documentation developed for 100 mA operation levels. Beam lines will run at 100 mA during the first part of the 2005 user run.

  • Ben Bostick shared the presentation that he made to the SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) summarizing activities of the SSRLUOEC, such as user activism and trips to Washington, DC planned in the Fall to encourage support for synchrotron facilities.
    • To increase the general response rate on end-of-run summaries, user administration staff have posted notices around the beamlines and sent email reminders. Ben reported that users continue to express a high degree of satisfaction related to their beam time - and response rate on end of run summaries have increased from ~25% in 2003 to >35% in 2004.
    • Ben reported that the PRP requested user input on the proposal review and appeal process as well as future beam time capabilities. (ACTION)
    • The SSRLUOEC decided to write a letter to DOE, perhaps in collaboration with the PRP, acknowledging the remarkable progress on the SPEAR3 upgrade and returning beam to users within 1 year. They also expressed concern that no additional resources to operate SPEAR3 could compromise SSRL's ability to bring up new beam lines, to continue to operate effectively, and to continue to provide the outstanding user support for which SSRL is known. (ACTION)

  • Next SLAC Public Lecture - Metal, Molecules, Life and Death, August 31, 2004: This public lecture will be given by Dr. Graham George, former SSRL scientist and now Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan. For more information see:

  • Cathy Knotts summarized user administration activities, including communications, new procedures for GERT and foreign visits, and user operations. SSRL is working with SLAC communications and other lightsources to develop a collaboration:
    • Approximately 680 on-site users participated in beam time in 2004 with 466 experiment starts. Demand exceeded 100% on all available beam lines, with several over 200% demand (BL2-3, 11-1, 11-2 approximately 350% demand).
    • Only 22 new proposals and 2 extension requests were received for PRP review during the last cycle. The light response could be attributed to the extensions given to active proposals during the 2003 SPEAR3 shutdown and during 2004 transition.
    • Call for new proposals (Xray/VUV due November 1, 2004; MC due December 1, 2004). Beam Time Requests for 1st scheduling period in 2005 (begins Oct 18, 2004) due before August 13, 2004. (ACTION)
    • Proposal forms will be modified to prompt users to respond to questions related to informing and acknowledging SSRL on publications. (ACTION)
    • GERT Training Requirements Continue in 2005 (users need to make appointments for GERT training prior to arrival). (ACTION)
    • Tracking on-site users through DOE FACTS database (users need to submit user information 30 days in advance of anticipated visits; advance approval only needed for users from SST countries; taking >1 yr). (ACTION)

  • In honor of the many contributions of William E. Spicer, SSRL has established the W.E. Spicer Award for scientific excellence to be awarded annually to a young scientist. The Spicer Award will be presented at the annual SSRL users' meeting to a young investigator who has made important technical or scientific contributions that benefit from or are beneficial to SSRL or the synchrotron community. The award, which is open to senior graduate students and those within seven years of entry into their professional scientific field at the time of nomination, will consist of a certificate and $1,000. Nominations in the form of a letter or email summarizing the technical or scientific contributions of the candidate should be sent by September 1, 2004 to Cathy Knotts, SSRL MS 99, 2574 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025. The SSRLUOEC was asked to nominate 2 individuals to serve on the selection committee to which Linda Brinen and Lisa Downward volunteered. Users are encouraged to submit nominations. (ACTION)

  • Users are encouraged to submit nominations for the 2004 Lytle Award, which was established in 1998 to promote important technical or scientific accomplishments in synchrotron radiation-based science and to foster collaboration and efficient use of beam time among users and staff at the SSRL. The Lytle Award consists of a certificate and $1,000. All SSRL users and staff are eligible for this award, but only nominations for individuals will be considered (no group awards). Letters of nominations summarizing the individual's contributions and why you feel they should be recognized through this award must be forwarded before the September 10th deadline to (ACTION)

  • Users are asked to nominate colleagues for the 2005 SSRLU0EC. There will be seven vacant positions to fill on the SSRLUOEC for 2004 in the following disciplines: materials/chemistry (2); biospectroscopy (1); macromolecular crystallography (2); ultrafast science (1). In addition, nominations for a graduate student member of the committee (in any discipline) are needed. The SSRLUOEC is a voluntary organization which serves as an advisory panel to communicate user needs or concerns and to help advocate the role synchrotrons play to the larger community. Members generally serve a two-year term. Send nominations to us before the September 24th deadline. We will contact candidates, collect brief biographies, prepare and distribute ballots, and the final voting will held at SSRL's Annual Users' Meeting on October 21, 2004. All newly elected members begin their term immediately following the Users' Meeting. (ACTION)

  • Uwe Bergmann presented a proposal to establish memorial award(s) for outstanding graduate student poster presentations (proposed Melvin P. Klein Memorial Best Graduate Student Poster Award or Melvin P. Klein Memorial Outstanding Structural Molecular Biology Graduate Student Poster Award). This proposal will be forwarded to SSRL management for review and discussion. (ACTION)

  • Uwe Bergmann discussed the desire to have fast scan capability at SSRL. He reported that he had talked with Martin George about this data acquisition software option; He encouraged users to support the idea and encouraged SSRL to make the development of fast scans a priority. This would enable the collection of forward and backward data, could be implemented through XAS Collect, and could support increased highthroughput capabilities, so that users could collect data in shorter amounts of beam time and more users could get be accommodated overall. (ACTION)

  • Glenn Waychunas, co-chair for SSRL31, discussed plans for the annual users' conference on October 20-26, 2004. The annual users' meeting on October 21-22, 2004 will feature presentations to help users incorporate new technology and make the most of SPEAR3 beam time as well as sessions on spectroscopy, scattering and diffraction, and reports from SSRL staff and young investigators. Users are encouraged to submit abstracts for oral presentations (due by Aug 27th) and for poster presentations (deadline for printed material is Oct 1st). Graduate students, in particular, are encouraged to participate in the meeting and in the graduate student poster competition; registration fees are significantly discounted for students, and the cost to attend the awards dinner is waived for students submitting posters.

    Immediately preceeding the annual users' meeting, users can select from three concurrent workshop options. A post-workshop/pre-user meeting registration reception will also be held on Wednesday, Oct. 20th from 5-7 pm. Following the annual users' meeting, users are invited to participate in the Ultrafast Science and LCLS Experiments Workshop on Oct. 25-26, 2004 (reception on Sunday evening, Oct. 24 from 5-7 pm). For more information on the preliminary program and other plans for the 31st Annual SSRL Users' Meeting, visit the website at:
    1. Modern Valence Band Photoemission Spectroscopy Workshop - A Legacy of W.E. Spicer and A Powerful Tool for Materials (a joint SSRL/ALS workshop organized by Ingolf Lindau, Piero Pianetta, Z.X. Shen, and Neville Smith) (SLAC Bldg. 48, Redwood Room A/B, 9 am-5pm) This workshop will combine a reflection on the history of modern valence band photoemission spectroscopy, and a survey of the latest developments in the field with emphasis on high resolution angle-resolved photoemission studies of novel materials. The latest advancements in both theory and experiment will be discussed (including the planned photoemission beamline at SSRL). Confirmed speakers include: Walter Kohn (Nobel Laureate), J.R. Schrieffer (Nobel Laureate), George Sawatsky, Ward Plummer.
    2. High Throughput Screening/Macromolecular Crystallography Workshop (Aina Cohen, Mike Soltis, Ana Gonzalez) (SLAC Bldg. 48, Redwood Room C/D, 1-5 pm) Participants will learn about the latest developments at SSRL including an overview of automated crystal screening, a capability that will be available at all the macromolecular crystallography beamlines. Topics will include robotic sample mounting, crystal screening software, and new options for data backup. Some time will be set aside for an open discussion. Learn how to take advantage of these new tools, hear about what is being developed, avoid common pitfalls, and let us know how to best meet your needs. Each new participant will be given a 'cassette loading kit' and will learn to use the kit contents to load pre-frozen samples into SSRL sample cassettes. Participants will also learn to successfully flash-cool samples while loading cassettes. They will find out how to best ship cassettes and learn how to upload crystal information into the blu-ice control system database. This workshop is good preparation for researchers inexperienced with the use of the SSRL automated screening system. Space is limited for this hands-on workshop.
    3. Experimental Methods of X-ray Scattering (Sean Brennan, Apurva Mehta, Mike Toney). This will be a hands-on practicum which will occur on BLs 7-2, 2-1 and 11-3. In addition to basic techniques of diffractometer alignment, there will be discussions of how to do specific measurements on each station such as grazing incidence scattering, specular reflectivity, powder diffraction and anomalous scattering. There will also be demonstrations of the recently acquired 900C furnace. The workshop is recommended for students of all ages who would like to be more efficient and effective in using the scattering stations at SSRL.
    4. Ultrafast Science and LCLS Experiments Workshop, Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 25-26, 2004: The workshop will begin with a joint session on Monday morning, Oct. 25th. On Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, there will be breakout sessions for each of the five thrust areas of the LCLS. The workshop will end with a joint session on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 26th. The workshop and breakout sessions will focus on the scientific goals and technical needs as well as experimental specifications. This workshop is open to all users (and potential future users interested in learning more about how to participate in LCLS and utilize this new technology):
      • Atomic, molecular and optical physics
      • High energy density states of matter
      • Optical pump-x-ray probe studies in chemistry, biology and materials science
      • Diffraction imaging of single objects approaching atomic scale resolution
      • Coherent x-ray scattering for the study of dynamics (X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy)

  • There was a discussion about possible themes for the users meeting dinner other than Oktoberfest which was very popular in the past. Linda Brinen subsequently recommended a harvest theme and requested that additional vegetarian options be incorporated into the menu selections. (ACTION)

  • In a Closed Session discussion at the end of the meeting, the SSRLUOEC identified a need to elect a replacement Vice Chair for 2004; this individual will also serve as Chair in 2005. Glenn Waychunas was nominated and subsequently elected to this position, effective immediately. (ACTION)

  • The meeting adjourned at 5 pm

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

2575 Sand Hill Road, MS: 99, Menlo Park, California, 94025, USA Tel: 650-926-4000 | Fax: 650-926-4100