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First NSLS-II Beamlines Begin to Take Shape

Coherent Soft X-ray Scattering beamline

Coherent Soft X-ray Scattering beamline (CSX-1).

BNL’s National Synchrotron Light Source II will be a state-of-the-art medium-energy electron storage ring (3 billion electron-volts) designed to deliver world-leading intensity and brightness, and will produce x-rays more than 10,000 times brighter than the Lab’s current light source. The NSLS-II is nearly 90 percent complete and components of the initial set of beamlines are beginning to fill the storage ring floor. 

Initially, six beamlines were selected and will be funded within the NSLS-II project. The first beamlines to be completed will allow researchers to measure electronic textures in strongly correlated materials such as high-temperature superconductors and to discern structures at ever-smaller spatial scales, with the possibility of reaching even smaller than a billionth of a meter to probe nanocrystals, catalytic materials, and energy-storage materials.

These beamlines are scheduled to begin commissioning – preparation for running experiments – as early as July 2014, with first experiments to follow later that year and in 2015. Ultimately, the facility will accommodate more than 60 beamlines that will continue to be developed, as funding becomes available, after the NSLS-II begins to operate. 

Learn more about the NSLS-II.

2013-4300  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Precision X-ray Focusing at NSLS-II

X-ray Powder Diffraction beamline team

The X-ray Powder Diffraction beamline team at NSLS-II

Why does a packet of electrons whizzing around a half-mile ring at nearly the speed of light need a state-of-the-art mirror? It’s not to check its hair, that’s for sure. The mirror will help deliver more of the high-energy x-rays flung off those speedy electrons to a sample awaiting imaging at the X-ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline. 

More than four-and-a-half feet long and polished so precisely that the difference in levelness from one end to the other is just one 50,000 of a degree, it’s the largest mirror in the world to achieve such flatness over its entire length. It had to be as long as manufacturing techniques would allow to maintain its ultimate flatness because the high energy x-rays produced at NSLS-II will need to reflect off the mirror at an incredibly low angle to catch maximum x-rays from the source.  

The combination of optics will allow for high-resolution, high-speed, and high-energy x-ray diffraction studies. The x-rays will be well-suited for research in real-time detection of catalysis in progress which could lead to new fuel cells and better understanding of the process of chemical absorption of carbon-dioxide and into the inner workings of batteries. A robotic sample handler will aid in handling irradiated samples from nuclear reactors. The highly penetrating, less damaging x-rays from this beamline will also be suitable for biological specimens.

Learn more about precision x-ray focusing at NSLS-II.

2013-4301  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Designing Better Performing Batteries

National Synchrotron Light Source

National Synchrotron Light Source

Using x-rays at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), researchers have studied the nanoscale workings of a lithium-ion battery, learning new information about the chemical reactions and structural changes that take place inside the cell. 

Lab scientists used a newly developed x-ray technique, transmission x-ray microscopy (TXM), to study a lithium-ion battery anode during multiple charge-discharge cycles. Combined with a  more conventional x-ray technique, x-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy, or XANES, information is provided that illuminates not only the morphological changes of the electrode, but also the chemical reactions that take place as the battery is cycled. 

Hard x-rays such as those used in TXM have energies on the more powerful end of the x-ray spectrum. They are naturally suited for this kind of study as they are non-destructive to samples, sensitive to the elemental makeup of samples, and pose virtually zero risk to the environment. The hard x-rays penetrate the battery and reveal information about how it works at the nanoscale. 

The results of the study will help guide future designs of better-performing lithium-ion batteries, which are widely used to power consumer electronics.

Learn more about designing better performing batteries.

2013-4302  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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  • Oct. 9 – Noon Recital. The sopranos of early-music group Tenet, Jolle Greenleaf and Molly Quinn, accompanied by period instruments, will present a concert titled, UNO + ONE. Berkner Hall Auditorium.
  • Oct. 10 – Community Advisory Council meeting. 6:30 PM. Berkner Hall, Room B.
  • Oct. 17 – Brookhaven Women in Science Event, “The truth and beauty in quasicrystals,” Marjorie Senechal, Smith College. 4 PM. Berkner Hall Auditorium.
  • Oct. 23 – BSA Distinguished Lecture, “Paradigms for a 21st Century University,” David Keyes, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). 4 PM. Berkner Hall Auditorium.  

*The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID for access to BNL events.

2013-4303  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office