The US Department of Energy granted approval on 25 July for Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago to begin construction on an $815 million upgrade to its Advanced Photon Source (APS) user facility. The improved facility will produce x-ray beamlines that are between 100 and 1000 times as bright as those at the current APS. Scheduled for completion in 2026, the upgrade will make APS competitive with other synchrotron light sources around the world and advance the frontiers of research on several fronts, including solar cell design, drugs for infectious diseases, neuroscience, and geophysics.
The APS uses groups of bending and focusing magnets to accelerate electrons to nearly the speed of light within a 1.1-kilometer storage ring. X rays emitted by those high-energy electrons are then extracted from the ring, focused into beamlines of different intensities, and shot through samples. The design for the APS’s new storage ring takes advantage of multibend achromat (MBA) technology: By packing more magnets into each group (or achromat), there’s room for more focusing magnets to steer electrons, which makes the emitted x rays brighter and more coherent.