APS User News-at-a-Glance Issue 43: June 27, 2007

Advanced Photon Source,
Argonne National Laboratory




1. Research Highlights & Annual Report
2. Featured Beamline: Powder Diffraction Beamline 11-BM to Offer High-Throughput, Mail-in Service
3. DOE Supercomputing "User Facilities" Seek Proposals by August 8

4. Users Week Draws Record Crowd
5. New Steering Committee Members Elected
6. General User Program Continues to Grow
7. Score Improvement on Proposals: Policy Confirmed
8. Foreign Nationals: Don't Get Stuck Staying Off Site

9. Electrical Safety Reminder: Get Assistance with Electrical Problems!
10. Floor Coordinator Hours Have Changed

-- Julie Olmsted Cross Joins APS as User Technical Interface

-- APSUO and PUC Meetings Rescheduled to August 22
-- New employment opportunities listed
-- Canadian citizens: Passport, driver's license required
-- User Science Seminar every Friday--speaker suggestions welcome
-- Enhanced access to visitor wireless network

Instructions for subscribing, unsubscribing, and submitting info:


We are experimenting with a new way to review beamlines operated by the APS X-Ray Operations and Research (XOR) Section. According to our policy, each sector of the APS is reviewed every three years by a panel of scientific experts under the auspices of our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). This year, we have shifted the review of XOR beamlines to a science/technique-based "cross-cut" model (inspired by the success of our annual, facility-wide cross-cut reviews), coupled with a separate technical and management review. This approach aligns with our desire to increase our focus on the scientific impact of the work as well as on the techniques at each XOR sector. At present, XOR operates 26 beamlines (15 sectors); of these, 20 beamlines will be reviewed in fiscal year 2007.

As in a typical sector review, reviewers will spend one day at APS conducting the review and provide a report with findings. However, the review panels will look primarily at the quality and impact of the work in the specific disciplinary area, independent of the beamline/sector on which the work was done. The management group for that discipline will see and comment on the panel's report. After all of the cross-cut reviews have been completed, we will conduct a technical and management review of the XOR sectors. Input and comments from both the cross-cut and management reviews will be evaluated by the SAC in January 2008. Two XOR reviews have occurred already; the schedule is shown below.

May 29 Biology; polymers; soft materials
May 30 Time-resolved science
June 28-29 Materials physics; materials science; engineering materials
Sept. 10 Condensed matter; theory
Sept. 11 Geosciences; magnetism

We hope that this new process will provide a better picture of the scientific impact of research conducted on APS beamlines by both users and beamline staff. We are actively engaged in recruiting additional beamline staff and are taking the opportunity to attract new scientific leaders to the APS. For questions and comments about XOR, please contact George Srajer (srajerg@aps.anl.gov).

If this type of cross-cut review proves successful at the sector level, we hope to apply this approach more broadly to all sectors at the APS in future, following the model of our annual cross-cut reviews. The most recent of these (January 2007) addressed protein crystallography. The report from that review has been shared with APS management, the protein crystallography CAT directors, and the APSUO Steering Committee. The report contains much valuable information, and we will eventually publish the review report and the APS/PX community's response the APS Web site.

I hope that you are having a good summer (or winter if you are down under), and I look forward to seeing you at the APS soon.


1. Research Highlights & Annual Report

Since the last issue, a profusion of new highlights has been published on the APS web site--far too many to summarize here. Go to our Science Highlights page to read the newest results on luminescent nanowires, giant magnetocaloric materials, the origins of fossil fuels, tailored magnetic properties in nanostructures, x-ray holograms of antiferromagnets, protein damage during irradiation, the behavior of dissolved metal ions, the nanoscale structure of cement, iron antimonide thermoelectric materials, and glycene riboswitches.

Still more highlights are published in APS Science 2006, the annual report of the Advanced Photon Source, which is now available in PDF format, both online (at http://www.aps.anl.gov/News/Annual_Report/) and on CD (send a request to apsinfo@aps.anl.gov). Printed copies are available by request to apsinfo@aps.anl.gov.

Highlights: http://www.aps.anl.gov/Science/Highlights/

2. Featured Beamline: Powder Diffraction Beamline 11-BM to Offer High-Throughput, Mail-in Service

One of the APS's newest beamlines, 11-BM, aims to meet an emerging need in science--high-resolution crystallographic structure determination from powder diffraction of complex polycrystalline materials--by providing data to users via a high-throughput mail-in service model. The beamline will support a wide range of user interests, from pharmaceuticals through traditional materials science to questions in engineering, catalysis, chemistry, geosciences, physics, and electronics.

The beamline features a general-purpose diffractometer with a unique APS-designed 12-detector system. Each detector has an independently aligned analyzer--increasing throughput twelve-fold with no degradation in data quality. A complete data set on a powder sample can be collected in an hour or less with an instrumental resolution under 4 x 10-4 ΔQ/Q; mail-in users may select data collection at either room temperature or 100 K. Operation is further enhanced by a robotic sample exchange system that will allow the beamline to accommodate an anticipated 20 to 30 samples a day.

To best exploit this high throughput, the beamline will be operated for General Users in rapid-access, mail-in mode beginning with Run 2007-3 (fall 2007). Users will submit General User proposals, specifying "rapid access" on the beam time request. Upon acceptance, users will enter sample identification data through a Web interface and send samples prepared with special mountings and Kapton capillaries provided by the beamline. Beamline staff will make the measurements and return the data by e-mail. More information on this process will be provided in a future issue of User News.

Construction of the beamline has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences. It will be operated by APS's Materials Characterization (MC) Group, X-ray Operations and Research Section, X-ray Science Division; the MC group is headed by Brian Toby, who will be glad to answer questions about the new beamline (brian.toby@anl.gov).

Proposal system info: http://aps.anl.gov/Users/Scientific_Access/General_User

3. DOE Supercomputing "User Facilities" Seek Proposals by August 8

Beginning in 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science extended the "user facility" model to scientific and engineering computing, through the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. The program seeks "computationally intensive research projects of large scale...that can make high-impact scientific advances through the use of a large allocation of computer time, resources, and data storage." The next proposal deadline is August 8. Among the machines available is the 5.7 teraflop IBM Blue Gene supercomputer operated by Argonne 's Leadership Computing Facility. The INCITE web site includes a listing of previous successful proposals.

INCITE: http://hpc.science.doe.gov/
Press release: http://www.doe.gov/news/5066.htm
Argonne supercomputing: http://www.alcf.anl.gov/


4. Users Week Draws Record Crowd

We say it every year, but this year's User Week was undoubtedly the best yet! More than 740 individuals attended all or part of the week's activities, which ranged from the scientifically exciting to the just plain fun! For the first time, this year's events included full participation from all four of Argonne 's DOE/Basic Energy Sciences user facilities: the Advanced Photon Source (APS), the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), the Electron Microscopy Center (EMC), and the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS). Included in the week were two plenary sessions; (the second, held toward week's end, kicked off talks and classes geared toward users of the newly operational CNM), five targeted science sessions (including student talks), two poster sessions, 11 workshops, vendor exhibits, and wonderful social events, including a conference banquet at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. The 2007 Users Week Web site (http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/Meeting/2007/) includes the comprehensive program and will soon include links to many of the talks presented in the general sessions and workshops. Also included on the Web site are listings of student poster award winners, meeting sponsors, and exhibitors.

Also during the week, both the APS Users Organization Steering Committee and the CNM Users Executive Committee elected new members (see following story).

The 11 workshops listed below link to Web pages with summary workshop abstracts and speaker talks (as available). The majority of the workshops were jointly sponsored by two or more of the four user facilities and focused on research that could benefit from instruments and techniques available at more than one. In addition, the Center for Nanoscale Materials organized six half-day, hands-on training sessions on electron beam lithography and focused ion beams for nanofabrication.

Workshop 1: Intermediate X-ray Science at the APS (half-day)
Workshop 2: Coherent X-ray Microscopy (1.5 days)
Workshop 3: Time-resolved X-ray and Neutron Scattering (1 day)
Workshop 4: Kinetics and Dynamics in Soft Condensed Matter (1 day)
Workshop 5: Drug Discovery at the APS (1 day)
Workshop 6: Frontiers of Structure Analysis Using Powders (1 day)
Workshop 7: In Situ Studies of Interfacial Reactivity (1 day)
Workshop 8: Hard X-ray Nanoprobe (1 day)
Workshop 9: X-ray Nanotomography (1 day)
Workshop 10: Synthesis and Self-assembly of Nanomaterials (1 day)
Workshop 11: Nanoelectronics (1 day)

Photo gallery: http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/Meeting/2007/2007UWgallery.htm
Compton award press release: http://www.anl.gov/news-room/News/2007/news070507.html

5. New Steering Committee Members Elected

During Users Week, the APS Users Organization welcomed the following four new members to its Steering Committee: Nino Campobasso, Department of Computational and Structural Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline; Paul Fuoss, Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory; Nadia Leyarovska, X-ray Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory; and Linda Young, Chemistry Division, Argonne National Laboratory.

Many thanks to outgoing committee members Keith Brister, Malcolm Capel, Steve Ginell, Thomas Gog, Ward Smith, and Carol Thompson (ex officio member) for their conscientiousness and commitment.

APSUO members: http://aps.anl.gov/About/Committees/APS_Users_Organization/Members/

6. General User Program Continues to Grow

In 2006, five more beamlines joined the General User Program, moving the total from 42 to 47 participating beamlines. As a result, the number of shifts allocated through the program rose from 11,009 to 14,716. In 2006, a total of 2,076 requests were received, up from 1,792 in 2005. Of those requests, 1,301 (62%) received time. Overall, since the inception of the program in January 2003, 62% of requests have received time. In 2007, six new beamlines are expected to begin supporting General Users.

7. Score Improvement on Proposals: Policy Confirmed

The change, in run 2007-1, to a single type of General User proposal was accompanied by some confusion about scoring. The policy for score improvements is unchanged and is as follows. An unsuccessful proposal receives a score improvement of 0.2 on the next beam time request (BTR) on that proposal. If the second request is also unsuccessful, a second improvement of 0.2 is applied, for a total--and maximum--of 0.4. When the proposal receives beam time, the "clock" is reset and at the next request, the score reverts to the original value.

8. Foreign Nationals, Don't Get Stuck Staying Off Site: Give Advance Notice & Bring Appropriate ID

If your team includes foreign nationals who are new users or who have an expired badge, please take note! If you will be arriving after hours (5:00 pm to 7:00 am weekdays and all day weekends), please let us know at least one business day in advance! Even if approval has been received from the Department of Energy, we must issue a "gate pass" for after-hours arrival. Call 630-252-9090 or write apsuser@aps.anl.gov with your arrival information. Please remember:


9. Electrical Safety Reminder: Close Call Underscores Requirement to Get Assistance with Electrical Problems!

In April 2007 an APS general user (a university graduate student) attempted to remove a plug from a 208-VAC receptacle. The plug was not fully disengaged, and the user pulled the plug housing and connecting cables from the plug base. The plug base was left inserted into the receptacle.

Instead of contacting APS staff as required, the general user decided to pry the plug base from the live receptacle using a pair of needle-nosed pliers. The tip of the pliers contacted one of the prongs at the same time the body of the pliers was touching the grounded plate surrounding the receptacle. This caused a short to ground, and a small arc flash resulted that melted part of the prong. The circuit breaker did not open, because the melting copper acted as a fuse and terminated the circuit before the circuit breaker could open. The user was not injured but easily could have been.

Beyond the risk to themselves, users who abuse the rules can pose a risk to others, and could be responsible for shutdown of the facility for an indeterminate period. APS general users are authorized to connect and disconnect electrical equipment. This authorization does not include the actions this graduate student took once the plug housing separated from the plug. At that point, the user should have made no further attempts to touch or remove the plug. Instead, the user should have dialed 2-0101 to notify the on-shift floor coordinator or control room operator. All general users are provided with a safety reminder sheet that includes these directions.

As a result of this violation, the graduate student was directed to leave the site and was denied access for the remainder of his assigned beam time. The involved university has since required all of its APS users to attend a one hour presentation on general user safety at APS. At the request of the university, the graduate student, his faculty adviser, and other graduate students under this adviser, will be required retake all general user training before being permitted access to an APS beamline.

10. Floor Coordinator Hours Have Changed

The floor coordinators' onsite hours have been reduced; the change will allow more coverage during the daytime. During the week, an on-duty floor coordinator will be available onsite from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm (changed from midnight). Weekend on-site coverage will be from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (changed from 8:00 pm). A floor coordinator is still on call at all other times, and local support is available from the main control room.


--Julie Olmsted Cross Joins APS as User Technical Interface

Julie Olmsted Cross, most recently a beamline scientist at sector 20 (XOR-PNC) has joined the APS Engineering Support Division as the user technical interface. Julie earned a B.A. from Reed College , where she collaborated with chemists from Tektronix to characterize the phase sequences of newly synthesized liquid crystal materials. After working for two years in the Display Research Group at Tektronix Labs, Julie returned to academia to earn a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Washington for her pioneering work on diffraction anomalous fine - structure (DAFS). Before coming to the Advanced Photon Source, Julie served two years as a National Research Council associate at the Naval Research Laboratory, developing graded lattice x-ray polarizers. She joined the staff of sector 20 in 1998 and has been involved with several APS community activities, including the APSUO Steering Committee and the APS XAFS Summer School. Julie's primary office will be 401/B4204. She can be reached by email at jox@aps.anl.gov.


--APSUO and PUC Meetings Rescheduled to August 22
The meetings of the APSUO Steering Committee and Partner User Council originally scheduled for July 12 and 13, 2007, respectively, have been rescheduled to Wednesday, August 22, 2007, as a joint meeting beginning at 9:00 am. Further information will be sent to individual members shortly.

--New employment opportunities listed
Several new opportunities have been posted the APS Users Organization's employment page recently, including positions at SGX and The University of Chicago. Please see http://aps.anl.gov/About/Employment/.

--Canadian citizens: Passport, driver's license required
Argonne National Laboratory now requires Canadian citizens to provide passport and driver's license information when registering and to show these IDs at the gate on their first visit or when entering on an expired badge.

--User Science Seminar every Friday--speaker suggestions welcome
Since late 1999, "User Science Seminar" has been a Friday tradition at the APS. This informal gathering features two "surprise" user presentations--often with results hot off the beamline. According to Gopal Shenoy, the APS borrowed idea of "unannounced" lunch talks from Mike Knotek, who started the tradition at NSLS while he was director there in the mid-1980s. Attendees are welcome to bring lunches to the seminar, held 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm each Friday except Lab holidays in Room A1100, Building 401 (located off the atrium). Suggestions for talks may be sent to the hosts of future seminars.

Past speakers: http://www.aps.anl.gov/News/Meetings/User_Seminars/SpeakerList.htm
Future hosts: http://www.aps.anl.gov/News/Meetings/User_Seminars/InChargeList.htm

--Enhanced access to visitor wireless network
While visitors are still required to register before accessing the wireless network at APS, two recent changes should enhance usability:
--Registration for one month can be selected (increased from a maximum of one week)
--Registration is good throughout the Argonne site, including the cafeteria.