2016 ALS Users' Meeting

Past ALS Users' Meetings: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011


Three days of scientific and social events, including plenary talks and dedicated workshops on synchrotron-based or -related state-of-the-art research, next generation synchrotron facilities and ALS-U sciences case, as well as awards ceremony and professional networking opportunities, have come to an end. The diverse theme of the this year's users' meeting emphasized on the strong users involvement to envision and carry out outstanding science and enginneering at the ALS demanded and supported by ALS, ALS-U and the ALS UEC. Without doubt, the strong enthusiasm and committment of users, staff and management will provide a solid foundation for future explorations.

2016 Awardees (not complete, from left): Chris Joswiak, Roland Koch, Eli Rotenberg, Michael Tuchband, Aaron Bostwick, Robert Streubel (UEC), Fanny Rodolakis (UEC), Monika Blum (UEC), Ingrid Hallsteinsen, Mary Gilles, Tyler Troy (UEC), Rebecca Siegelman, Doug Taube and Bruce Rude. Mary Gilles received the award for Tolek Tyliszczak.

We congratulate all awardees to their achievements and like to thank all participants, vendors and support staff for their contributions to have made the users' meeting a success. Special thanks go to Susan Bailey and Deborah Smith (ALS users' office) for organizing the non-scientific framework, and Marilyn Chung (photographer) for providing impressions of the users' meeting.

Read the ALS press releases about Users' meeting highlights and ALS-U sciences case.

We look forward to seeing you again next year at Berkeley, CA - October 2-4, 2017.

Brief Information

The this year's ALS users' meeting is concurrent with current efforts to upgrade DOE synchrotron facilities offering dedicated ALS-U (ALS-Upgrade) sessions and keynote speeches about next generation diffraction-limited synchrotron facilities and beamline updates. We believe that an early-stage involvement of the user community is an essential ingredient for a successful upgrade and coherently growing outstanding research and development carried out at the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Following the trend of past ALS users' meetings, roughly 400 scientists are expected to attend and to participate in the event held October 3-5, 2016.

Feel free to contact the Program Co-charis Fanny Rodolakis and Robert Streubel by email (Fanny: 📧, or Robert: 📧) or phone (Fanny: 630-252-6817, or Robert: 510-486-5478).

Please refer to the Calendar or the ALS users' meeting website for important deadlines.

Meeting Highlights

  • Plenary sessions with keynote speakers
  • Director's science and facility updates
  • Invited talks featuring recent science highlights from the ALS
  • Dedicated ALS-U sessions
  • 12 focused workshops
  • Poster session and reception
  • Student "Poster Slam" competition
  • Awards banquet
  • Exhibitors of synchrotron-related equipment
Invited Speakers (not complete)

  • Jesper Andersen, MAX IV Laboratory: "MAX IV: The Next Generation"
  • Steve Kevan, LBNL: "ALS-U Science Opportunities"
  • Carolyn Larabell, UCSF: "Imaging Complex Biological Systems with Soft X-Ray Tomography"
  • Jeffrey Long, UC Berkeley: "Natural-Gas Storage in Metal-Organic Frameworks"
  • Patrick Naulleau, LBNL: "Semiconductor Advanced Manufacturing at the ALS"
  • Chris Roat, Google: "How Google is Accelerating Science"
  • Eli Rotenberg, LBNL: "First Results of the MAESTRO Beamline: From Micro to NanoARPES"
  • Zhi-Xun Shen, Stanford: "Emerging Electronic States at Boundaries and Domain Walls in Quantum Materials"


Monday, October 3
07:45Registration, Continental Breakfast @Building 50 Auditorium
Session Chair: Monika Blum
08:30UEC Welcome, Meeting LogisticsMonika Blum, UEC Vice-Chair, UNLV
08:35LBNL WelcomeMichael Witherell, LBNL
08:55ALS: Progress and ProspectsRoger Falcone, LBNL
09:25The Molecular Foundry: Overview and Recent Capabilities for ALS UsersJeff Neaton, LBNL
10:15Imaging Complex Biological Systems with Soft X-Ray TomographyCarolyn Larabell, UCSF
10:50Natural-Gas Storage in Metal-Organic FrameworksJeffrey Long, UC Berkeley
11:25Emerging Electronic States at Boundaries and Domain Walls in Quantum MaterialsZhi-Xun Shen, Stanford University
12:00Lunch and Exhibitors @ALS Patio and Exhibitor Tent
Session Chair: Will Chueh
13:30MAX IV: The Next GenerationJesper Andersen, MAX IV Laboratory
14:05ALS-U Design UpdateDavid Robin, LBNL
14:25ALS-U Science OpportunitiesSteve Kevan, LBNL
14:45User Office UpdateSue Bailey, LBNL
15:00Poster SlamDula Parkinson, LBNL
15:30UEC Town Hall MeetingMonika Blum, Brian Collins, UEC members
16:00Poster Session, Student Poster Competition and Reception @ALS Patio and Exhibitor Tent
Session Chair: Fanny Rodolakis
18:00Mesoscale: The Missing Length Scale in Energy StorageWilliam Chueh, Stanford University
18:20X-Ray Interferometry: A Route to Ultrahigh-Resolution and Ultradilute SpectroscopyHoward Padmore, LBNL
18:40Nanoscale Dynamics and Structure with Coherent X-Ray ScatteringOleg Shpyrko, UC San Diego
19:30Conclusion Poster Competition
Tuesday, October 4
08:00Registration, Continental Breakfast @Building 50 Auditorium
Session Chair: Robert Streubel
08:30First Results of the MAESTRO Beamline: From Micro to NanoARPESEli Rotenberg, LBNL
08:55Student Poster Winner TalkIngrid Hallsteinsen
09:15Science and Policy for a Low-Carbon Energy FutureDaniel Kammen, UC Berkeley (no show up)
09:50Imaging Modular Microbial MetabolismCheryl Kerfeld, Michigan State University
10:35How Google is Accelerating ScienceChris Roat, Google
11:05The Chemistry of Particles in the Deep OceanBrandy Toner, University of Minnesota
11:30Mapping Carbon Flow through Soils: Ecosystem and Global ImpactsMarco Keiluweit, University of Massachusetts
11:55Semiconductor Advanced Manufacturing at the ALSPatrick Naulleau, LBNL
12:20Lunch @ALS Patio and Exhibitor Tent
17:00Awards Dinner @ALS Patio and Exhibitor Tent
Wednesday, October 5
08:00Registration, Continental Breakfast @ALS Patio and Exhibitor Tent
12:00Lunch @ALS Patio and Exhibitor Tent
17:00End of Meeting


Ordering Phenomena in Functional Complex Oxides

Elke Arenholz (ALS); Alexander Grutter (NIST)
Room: 30-206
Abstract: In this workshop, opportunities and future directions for characterizing ordering phenomena in functional complex oxides using soft x-ray spectromicroscopy and scattering at ALS-U will be featured and discussed. The target audience will be researchers of any level of experience (student, postdoc, PI) interested in the electronic, orbital, and magnetic characteristics of complex oxides. The organizing team will encourage the participation of students and postdoctoral scholars as presenters and in discussions.

Nanotomography of Vector Fields

Peter Fischer (MSD); Peter Ercius (Foundry)
Room: 2-400F
Abstract: X-ray tomography of scalar quantities, e.g. the electron charge, is a well established technique to which the ALS has made significant contributions. It can be seen as one of the workhorse tools of the ALS. Vector quantities, e.g. the electron spin, add another level of complexity to x-ray tomography. Spin systems in 3D have recently received increased interest in the community, not only due to novel synthesis approaches, but also in view of their potential to provide novel functionalities, e.g. 3D magnetic storage. Scientifically, 3D spin textures add another dimension to the question of how to harness the coupling of spins in such systems. Nanoscale characterization is of paramount interest, and there are substantial efforts underway to address this need.

The Future of Materials Exploration: Intelligent Synthesis, Discovery, Characterization, and Optimization

Eli Rotenberg, Alex Hexemer (ALS); Dinesh Kumar, Ron Pandolfi, S.V. Venkatakrishnan, Alex Weber-Bargioni, Shaul Aloni, Adam Schwartzberg (Foundry)
Room: 50-Auditorium
Abstract: The intent of this workshop is to discuss these possibilities from a technical perspective and to engage a broad user community in ideas for the X-LAB scope and science program. While the focus of this workshop is functional materials studied in vacuo, X-LAB also contains paradigms for discovery and optimization that easily extend to other fields, like chemical or biological sciences.

New X-Ray Tools for Investigating MOFs and COFs

Chenhui Zhu, Christine Beavers, Jinghua Guo, Martin Kunz, Simon Teat, Cheng Wang, Alex Hexemer (ALS); Yi Liu (Foundry); Omar Yaghi (MSD)
Room: 54-130
Abstract: At this workshop, we will discuss new x-ray techniques that have provided unique information in this field: (1) grazing-incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering (GiWAXS), which can determine the crystallinity and crystallographic orientation of MOF/COF thin films, inaccessible by transmission techniques; (2) measurement of gas absorption using SAXS to track and map the ordering of adsorbate molecules, thus offering insights into the selectivity and uptake capacity of the adsorption process; (3) single-crystal diffraction or powder XRD at high pressure, which is critical to understanding the structural response of MOFs to applied pressures; (4) soft x-ray spectroscopy, which can explore the electronic structure of MOFs/COFs upon gas absorption. We will also invite scientists from both universities and industry to discuss the challenges they face in the characterization of MOFs/COFs for the purpose of making real-world applications.

Frontiers of Synchrotron Infrared Science

Michael C. Martin, Hans A. Bechtel (ALS)
Room: 6-2202
Abstract: Synchrotron radiation is a bright and broad source of infrared light. Synchrotron infrared beamlines worldwide have exploited this source for experiments requiring high spatial resolution or high spectral resolution. Traditionally, high spatial resolution has meant diffraction-limited spot sizes, which in the mid-infrared is typically 2-10 um using conventional reflective objectives. Recently, a new form of infrared spectroscopy, called Synchrotron Infrared Nano-Spectroscopy (SINS), has been developed that surpasses the diffraction limit by nearly three orders of magnitude, enabling broadband spectroscopy on a variety of materials with < 20 nm spatial resolution. Numerous synchrotron infrared beamlines worldwide have been adopting or plan to develop the SINS technique and other infrared near-field techniques. This workshop will focus on these exciting developments, highlighting both instrumentation and user science.

Chirality, Symmetry Breaking, and Topological Defects

Chenhui Zhu, Sujoy Roy, Steve Kevan (ALS); David Walba (CU-Boulder)
Room: 54-130B
Abstract: This workshop brings together experts (both experimentalists and theorists) on both hard (magnetism) and soft condensed matter (liquid crystals, biopolymers) to discuss interesting phenomena in this interdisciplinary area, including (1) how achiral liquid-crystal molecules form chiral, ferroelectric, helical phases due to spontaneous symmetry breaking; and (2) the fascinating formation of skyrmions in magnetic materials and liquid crystals, topological defects and their annihilation, stripe domains, etc. The role of novel x-ray techniques will be explored in investigating these materials, in the context of ALS-U (upgrade into diffraction limited synchrotron source). The target audience will be researchers working on liquid crystals, magnetism, and other fields concerning chirality and spontaneous symmetry breaking.

High-Throughput Soft X-Ray RIXS for Energy Sciences

Wanli Yang, Jinghua Guo, Yi-De Chuang, Zahid Hussain (ALS)
Room: 15-253
Abstract: RIXS (resonant inelastic x-ray scattering) has been well utilized in fundamental physics research, especially for probing low-energy excitations in highly correlated systems. However, its employment in technological material research has been limited, and the link between RIXS and the practical properties of energy materials, e.g. photovoltaics, storage materials, electrocatalysts, etc., remains weak. This is mostly due to the count-rate limitation of RIXS, leading not only to long data-collection times, but also to the nonfeasibility of RIXS for radiation-sensitive samples and in situ/operando conditions. In 2016, an in situ RIXS (iRIXS) system was commissioned at the ALS with greatly improved detection efficiency. This enables many unprecedented experiments and provides unique scientific opportunities for energy material research. The efficiency improvement also enables other enhanced RIXS techniques, including momentum-resolved RIXS (q-RIXS) and nanometer-spatial-resolution RIXS (nano-RIXS), both of which require high-throughput RIXS data collection. At this workshop, spectroscopists, materials scientists, and theoreticians will be sitting together to discuss the many exciting opportunities opened up by high-throughput RIXS for energy and functional material research.

Double Play with X-Rays: Combining X-Ray Spectroscopy and Diffraction at the ALS and Future ALS-U Beamlines

Howard Padmore, Martin Kunz, Alexei Fedorov, Nobumichi Tamura (ALS); David Shuh (CSD)
Room: 33-106
Abstract: In theory, the electronic structure of crystalline solids is well connected to the crystal structure. In practice, studies of electronic and crystal structures are separated and rarely achieved in one experiment: x-ray diffraction/scattering resolves crystal structures while spectroscopic techniques such as x-ray absorption and photoemission probe electronic structure. This workshop will examine the possibility of uniting these previously well-separated techniques in one instrument. It will highlight technical challenges associated with the development of this instrument (and the synchrotron beamline) and discuss new knowledge it might deliver. The scientific motivation stems from the mounting evidence of nano- and macro-scale phase separation in strongly correlated materials such as functionalized oxides, superconductors, etc., and the notion that structural ordering and electronic properties/ordering are intertwined. In addition, the possibility of performing such studies at non-ambient conditions with the new instrument will be explored. The combination of these techniques will be discussed in view of the future upgrade of the ALS.

Identifying Visual Cues to Enable Searching 3D Images

Dula Parkinson (ALS); Dani Ushizima (CRD)
Room: 15-300
Abstract: Many experiments generate images with a large number of visual cues. These can be interpreted by clever and experienced science domain experts, but not by most automated image-analysis pipelines. Changes in the instrument (e.g. illumination, temperature) or in the sample composition or condition (e.g. cracks, bubbles) all lead to corresponding visual features. How can we automate the identification of patterns to separate the signal from the noise, the discovery from the artifact? This workshop will present use-cases.

Application of X-Ray Footprinting (XF-MS) to Determine Conformational Dynamics of Biomolecular Complexes in Solution

Sayan Gupta, Corie Y. Ralston (MBIB)
Room: 6-1105
Abstract: X-ray footprinting (radiolytic hydroxyl radical labeling and mass spectrometry) is a technique that provides structural and dynamical information on proteins in the solution state and is highly complementary to many other structural and biochemical techniques. Because it yields residue-specific information by in situ generation of hydroxyl radicals, it is used to determine conformation changes, ligand binding, and protein–protein interactions under various conditions at a high degree of both temporal and spatial resolution and is therefore useful to both fundamental research and the characterization of biologics/protein therapeutics. The technique was pioneered at the NSLS a decade ago and is now available at the ALS. This workshop will provide an overview of the x-ray footprinting technique, how it is performed, the best way to prepare samples, and what information the technique provides. The morning session will highlight recent case studies, and the afternoon session will be a tutorial on data processing. The workshop will be useful for biological researchers in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

PICKLES2016: Prediction and Interpretation of Core-level (K-, L-edge, etc.) Spectroscopy

David Prendergast (Foundry)
Room: 67-3111
Abstract: This workshop provides a forum to discuss leading edge developments in the theory and simulation of core-level spectra. Special emphasis will be placed on predictive approaches, using first-principles methods, and the design or interpretation of experiments.

7th Annual SIBYLS BioSAXS Workshop

Greg L. Hura, Michal Hammel (MBIB)
Room: 2-100B
Abstract: The 7th annual SIBYLS bioSAXS workshop will cover Frontiers in Biological SAXS. The two-day workshop will provide participants with software tutorial sessions for biological SAXS in addition to hands-on training in experimental techniques. The latest advances in SAXS studies on biological systems will be discussed with particular focus on advances in synchrotron scattering techniques, dynamic and flexible structures in biomolecules, membrane protein scattering, and complementary methods in crystals and in solution. Updates on current developments of software for SAXS analysis pertaining to structural biology will be illustrated.