2017 March 15 - April 24
2017 May 17 - June 29
2017 BTR deadline: 04/17/17
2017 October 11 - December 21
2017 Proposal deadline: 08/01/17
2017 BTR deadline: 09/10/17
In last month’s eNewsletter, CHESS Director Joel Brock gave an overview of the CHESS-U project and how important the six summer science workshops were to help define the science frontiers an upgraded CHESS will serve. The project relocates five experimental stations and gives each of the new stations an independently tunable high-flux undulator source. This workshop shared the goal of identifying pressing and important scientific needs for a future high-energy x-ray source utilizing unique capabilities of the Cornell accelerator and special types of organization and user support.
The “spectroscopy” workshop was held on June 20th and 21st and involved 22 invited speakers and 57 attendees. 26 remote viewers asked questions and participated in discussions through an on-line YouTube stream. The organizing committee consisted of Ken Finkelstein, Rong Huang and Arthur Woll (CHESS), helped by outside organizers Ian Coulthard (Canadian Light Source), Serena DeBeer (Max Planck Institute) and Kyle Lancaster (Cornell University). This workshop addressed how advances in synchrotron sources, optics, and detectors have enabled and will continue to spark new approaches and applications in advanced x-ray spectroscopy and microscopy. X-ray spectroscopies are powerful, element specific probes of composition, spatial distribution, and local electronic structure in complex materials.
After talks of general interest in the field of spectroscopy, this workshop split into two parallel sessions covering high-resolution x-ray spectroscopy and hard x-ray microscopy. The first discussed how advanced x-ray spectroscopic techniques, such as x-ray resonant and non-resonant emission, inelastic, and Raman scattering, are powerful tools that go beyond elemental analysis to give precise information on electronic structure and excitations in solids and liquids. A major theme for discussion was the need to improve x-ray spectroscopic capabilities for mechanistic insights into catalysts under working conditions. One large outstanding goal is to understand fundamental processes of energy storage and conversion. Namely, how does one efficiently and reversibly store and release energy in chemical bonds? The answers to this question will inform knowledge-based catalytic design and enable scientists and engineers to design global energy solutions based on scientific evidence.
The parallel session on hard x-ray microscopy showcased advanced x-ray microscopies and applications in a broad array of fields, including biology, geology, and cultural heritage. Plant scientist Olena Vatamaniuk (Cornell) introduced the enormous worldwide need for safe, plant-based, high mineral density food crops. So-called biofortification, using both traditional and genetic methods, has enormous potential for nutritional enhancement of crops but is severely limited in pace and effectiveness by insufficient understanding of mineral localization and speciation in plants and of how such nutrients are regulated and transported. Synchrotron-based techniques, such as x-ray fluorescence and x-ray absorption spectrometry, have emerged as critical tools in the study of plant mineral nutrition, that bridge the gap between gene function and total mineral accumulation with mineral localization, speciation and ligand environment. Especially impactful will be enhanced instrumentation – particularly high speed, energy dispersive detectors allowing rapid collection of large and/or high resolution scan-probe imaging.
After the meeting, CHESS scientists, organizers and participants joined forces to summarize notes and compose “white papers”, capturing the scientific need and opportunities for innovative work using an upgraded CHESS source. CHESS scientists are now working with members of the CHESS External Advisory Committee and members of the CHESS Users’ Executive Committee to refine, combine, reduce and/or sharpen the ideas captured from the workshops. The CHESS staff is enormously grateful to members of the user community and beyond who’ve helped shape the future of CHESS.
Stay tuned to the CHESS eNewsletter to hear exciting updates on the CHESS-U upgrade.
Some of the participants at Workshop 5 in the Physical Sciences Building.
Ernest Fontes, CHESS, Cornell University