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National Synchrotron Light Source II

One of the newest and most advanced synchrotron facilities in the world

photo of NSLS-II XPD beamline

The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) is a state-of-the-art, medium-energy electron storage ring (3 billion electron-volts) with a highly stable electron beam. It is designed to deliver beams of light with world-leading intensity and brightness spanning the spectrum from infrared light to hard x-rays. These beams enable studies of materials under real operating conditions (operando), and allow the investigation of complex problems using multiple techniques (multimodal measurements). Researchers from around the world come to NSLS-II to focus on the most important challenges at the nanoscale, including studies in condensed matter and materials physics, chemistry, and biology.

To see how you can get involved with this facility, contact the User Services Office at (631) 344-8737.

Basic Research

NSLS-II enables scientists to observe fundamental properties with nanometer-scale resolution and atomic sensitivity. The facility offers a wide spectrum of experimental techniques to study these properties, including nanoscale imaging, high-resolution x-ray diffraction, and various forms of x-ray spectroscopy. Each of NSLS-II’s 28 operating beamlines can help scientists uncover the structure, chemistry, morphology, and other properties of various materials from large-scale structures to their nanometer-scale building blocks.

Applied Research

The capabilities of NSLS-II as a user research facility expand far into realms of applied research of many different disciplines, from novel materials discovery to biological and environmental sciences. For example, understanding materials on the nanoscale can help scientists develop new design approaches that mimic nature’s ability to assemble nanomaterials into useful devices, more simply and economically. Watching chemical reactions live offers scientists new insights that could help them optimize the design of batteries and fuel cells and let them tackle the modern-day challenges of clean and affordable energy. Uncovering the 3-D design of biological molecules and watching them in action is the first step towards designing more effective drugs to combat disease.

Test Facilities and Expertise

NSLS-II offers unique, cutting-edge research tools, including high-throughput robot-driven sample processing, coherent x-ray scattering with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution, unprecedented energy resolution, a hard x-ray microscope with world-leading, nanometer spatial resolution. The 28 beamlines are organized into six scientific programs, based on the research techniques they offer. NSLS-II is designed to investigate both natural and syntactic materials under various conditions from multiple angles.

Workforce Development

NSLS-II participates in the educational internships and workforce development programs offered across disciplines at Brookhaven Lab. The facility has a large number of summer students and interns in various departments ranging from software development to experimental studies. In addition, NSLS-II offers a Joint Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) and National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) Lecture Series that is held at various universities. This program offers a comprehensive introduction to advanced material characterization and fabrication techniques deployed at Brookhaven National Laboratory.