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Transition Topics

As of September 30, 2014, the NSLS permanently ceased operation. NSLS-II will be ramped up as rapidly as possible to serve our large and productive user community. The tabs below provide information related to various transition topics. If you have comments, suggestions or questions, please contact the NSLS-II User Administrator.

Looking for links to NSLS documents, records, and procedures? Find them here

DOE and Other Partner Facilities

After exploring the information about anticipated technique availability at NSLS and other facilities in the next few years (provided under the "Techniques Across DOE" tab), you may wish to contact our DOE and Other Partner Facilities for information and/or questions you have about the capabilities their facilities can offer.

 Proposal submission for each of these facilities are as follows:
(For NSLS-II proposals, see "Specific Transition Beamtime Arrangements" listed below)

  Cycle dates
(Proposal deadline)
Cycle dates
(Proposal deadline)
Cycle dates
(Proposal deadline)
APS (Argonne) Jan – April  / last Fri in Oct May – Aug   / first Fri in Mar Oct – Dec  / first Fri in July
SSRL (Stanford) (non-MX) NEW Proposals Feb – May  / Sept 1 May – Aug  / Dec 1 Nov – Feb  / June 1
SSRL (Stanford) (non-MX) Beam Time Requests Feb – May  / November 15 May – Aug  / February 15 Nov – Feb  / Aug 15
SSRL (Stanford) (MX) NEW Proposals Mar – May  / Dec 1 June – Aug  / Apr 1 Nov – Feb  / July 1
SSRL (Stanford) (MX) Beam Time Requests Mar – May  / Jan 21 June – Aug  /  Apr 16 Nov – Feb  / Sep 17
ALS (Berkeley) Jan – July   / first Wed in Sept Aug – Dec  / first Wed in March  

Deadlines at all synchrotrons can change, so look here for updated info:

Specific Transition Beamtime Arrangements

In addition to informing the user community about the opportunities at other facilities, NSLS-II has identified several strategic areas where the existing NSLS user groups have been productive and/or will be strategically important to the science programs at NSLS-II.  For these select set of programs, NSLS-II plans to actively coordinate with other DOE facilities to make specific near-term arrangements, with committed significant resources and staffing, to support existing NSLS users at the appropriate beamlines at these other facilities.  These arrangements include the following:

Infrared Spectromicroscopy Program at ALS Beamlines 1.4 and 5.4

NSLS-II has established a 3-year Approved Program at the ALS beamlines 1.4 and 5.4 for 15% of the available beam time on each beamline.  In addition, ALS is building a third infrared beamline 2.4 in order to develop full-field FTIR imaging and tomography capabilities. Prospective users will go through the NSLS-II PASS system to gain access to this allocated time, with user support provided by NSLS-II staff during the experiments.  The infrared spectromicroscopy programs at ALS Beamlines 1.4 and 5.4 feature Thermo Nicolet infrared spectrometers and microscopes for single-pixel spectromicroscopy and mapping.  The endstations are essentially identical to the equipment at NSLS beamline U2B spanning a spectral range from 650 – 4000 cm-1 with a diffraction-limited spatial resolution of 3 – 10 μm in the mid-infrared spectral region. Scientific applications span from biological samples, environmental samples, novel compounds, forensic studies, laminates, polymers, fibers, particulate contamination, and materials science applications. For more information on how to get transition beamtime at the ALS, see the  Infrared Programs website.

Contact: Lisa Miller (, 631.344.2091)

Hard X-ray Spectroscopy Program at SSRL BL 2-2

NSLS-II has established a collaborative access program (CAP) in X-ray Spectroscopy for 80% of available beam time at the SSRL BL 2-2, in collaboration with the Synchrotron Catalysis Consortium (SCC), with ~1.5 FTE scientific staff in total providing user support at the beamline.  In addition to staffing, NSLS-II plans to bring operating equipment to BL 2-2, including sample cells, detectors, and gas handling apparatus for catalysis research.  Prospective users will go through the NSLS-II PASS system to gain access to this beamline, with user support provided by NSLS-II and partner staff during the experiments. For more information on how to get X-ray spectroscopy transition beamtime at SSRL Beamline 2-2, see the Spectroscopy Program at SSRL webpage.

Contact: Klaus Attenkofer (, 631.344.5146)

Macromolecular Crystallography Program at SSRL BL 14-1 and ALS

NSLS-II has established a collaborative access program (CAP) in Macromolecular Crystallography for 50% of available beam time at the SSRL BL 14-1, with ~1 FTE NSLS-II scientific staff providing user support at the beamline. The NSLS-II staff will also coordinate with the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology at ALS to provide support to NSLS users at the structural biology beamlines at the ALS.  Prospective users will go through the SSRL and ALS proposal systems for accessing the beamlines, with the NSLS-II staff providing the beam time allocation for individual NSLS user groups within the allotted time. Here is more information on requesting transition beamtime at SSRL Beamline 14-1.

Contact: Sean McSweeney (, 631-344-4506)

Energy Dispersive X-ray Diffraction Program at APS Beamline 6-BM

NSLS-II has formed a collaborating access team (CAT), with COMPRES and APS as partners, to operate the 6-BM beamline at APS as a mini-CAT.  The beamline consists of two white beam hutches, 6-BM-A and 6-BM-B, with the 6-BM-A accommodating the materials engineering and battery research program and the 6-BM-B accommodating the COMPRES program. The mini-CAT will be co-Directed by BNL-NSLS-II and COMPRES, with 2 FTE scientific staff in total among all partners providing user support.  Beam time allocation will be through the APS proposal system with input from the BNL-NSLS-II and COMPRES co-Directors. Requesting Beamtime

  • Materials Engineering Program (APS Beamline 6-BM-A): The program at 6-BM-A uses high-energy polychromatic x-rays above 50 keV from a bending magnet source for energy-dispersive x-ray diffraction (EDXRD).  Two solid-state germanium detectors capture diffracted x-rays in a transmission geometry (at angles of 5-10 degrees) allowing simultaneous capture of scattering vectors in the horizontal and vertical directions.  Variable incident and diffracted slits of typical size 0.1mm are used to form gage volumes of approximately 0.1x0.1x1.4 mm3.

    This probe allows significant penetration (several mm) into engineering materials to quantify phase evolution, orientation distribution, and stress field in them.  Large sample coverage will be provided by XYZ translations (several cm each) and 3-axis tilt/rotations, including full 360 degree vertical rotation.   Additional hardware includes an rbin BT-5HC 2-channel battery cycler with hardware/software interface for visualizing simultaneous battery charge discharge curves and EDXRD. Arbin MITS Pro battery testing software provides comprehensive tools for testing batteries, super-capacitors, electro-chemical cells and others. This instrumentation is optimized for industrial and academic groups involved in engineering and energy storage research.

    Contact: Ron Pindak (, 631-344-7529)
  • High Pressure Program (APS Beamline 6-BM-B):  The high-pressure program at the 6-BM beamline at APS will feature a DDIA apparatus capable of generating pressure of 15 GPa and temperatures of 2000K as the sample is loaded in a uniaxial stress field of up to 5 GPa.  A detector array enables the diffraction vector to sample grains over a range of angles relative to the applied stress field, yielding a precise measure of the stress (10 MPa resolution).  Imaging the sample allows measurement of changes in dimensions (strain resolution of 10-4).  The stress field can be varied with time or applied uniformly over long periods of time.  This system allows measurements of the quantitative rheological properties of materials under a variety of P-T conditions.  This has attracted a large Earth science community interested in the deformation properties of the Earth.  Time varying stress and temperature fields allow measurement of dynamic properties such as anelasticity, elastic dispersion, kinetics of phase transitions, and thermal diffusivity at conditions of elevated P and T.

    Contact: Don Weidner (, 631-632-8211)

Transmission X-ray Microscopy Program at SSRL Beamline 6-2 and Beamline 8-BM at APS

The transmission x-ray microscopy (TXM) program at SSRL beamline 6-2-C is being arranged as a collaborative access program (CAP).  Beamline 6-2-C is a multi-pole Wiggler insertion device beamline and provides much higher intensity beam compared with the NSLS X8C bending magnet source with the energy range 5-11keV for TXM applications. The TXM instrument at BL 6-2-C is a very similar instrument running at NSLS and provides absorption and phase contrast modes with 30 um field of view and 30nm spatial resolution.  XANES capability for chemical mapping as well as nanotomography is available. In addition, NSLS-II plans to relocate the cutting-edge TXM instrument from NSLS X8C to a bending magnet beamline at APS or at another facility.  This is being actively pursued in close collaboration with staff and management at the other facilities.  We expect to finalize this arrangement soon.

Contact: Jun Wang (, 631.344.2661)

News & Updates

The National Synchrotron Light Source has been an outstanding synchrotron facility serving a broad scientific user community for the past three decades with tremendous scientific productivity and technological and societal impact. NSLS has consistently served over 2,300 unique users annually in materials physics and engineering, chemistry, environmental and life sciences, and industry, leading to over 900 publications per year. This user community at NSLS constitutes a substantial portion (about ~23%) of the US light source community. Thus, the closing of NSLS results in a loss of capabilities and capacities until NSLS-II is substantially built-out, and will cause significant changes in how the existing NSLS user community will conduct their research and transition to NSLS-II.

Recognizing this fact, we are implementing a multi-facetted approach for addressing the transition period from NSLS to NSLS-II. Our plan includes the following four elements:

  • Build out NSLS-II beamlines as rapidly as possible, including the transfer of NSLS beamline programs to NSLS-II bending magnet and 3-pole wiggler beamlines to increase early capacity (i.e. the NxtGen Project).
  • Work with specific user groups at NSLS to identify and establish critical beamline capabilities and long-term partnerships at appropriate beamlines at NSLS-II, and make interim arrangements at the early suite of NSLS-II beamlines if necessary.
  • Coordinate with other DOE synchrotron facilities to identify and communicate to users similar capabilities at ALS, APS, and SSRL, and the potential for increased capacities for certain techniques at these facilities.
  • Develop and implement specific user support and coordination plans at a set of specific beamlines at ALS, APS, SSRL, as well as at other SR facilities such as CHESS and CLS, to accommodate existing NSLS users in areas that are strategically important to NSLS-II.

This Transition website is aimed at helping NSLS users identify resources to continue their research programs during the transition period.

Techniques Across DOE

To assist in how and where your scientific research projects can be completed, we’ve prepared matrices giving the number of beamlines providing various scientific techniques that will be available at NSLS-II and are available at other U.S. DOE light sources.

As part of the User Transition Forum in May 2012, an effort was undertaken to understand the beamlines that are available across the DOE synchrotron complex, and how that number (and technique mix) might change through the NSLS to NSLS-II transition. The basic framework was proposed by Tony Lanzirotti, University of Chicago, who developed the first matrix for X-ray microprobe capabilities at NSLS, APS, ALS, SSRL, and those anticipated for NSLS-II. The idea caught on, and we worked to gather information for other techniques and instruments.

To provide some common structure or classification for the beamlines, we adopted the nomenclature used by DOE to describe experimental techniques at light-source beamlines (PDF). A number of volunteers (PDF) across the facilities worked to collect, classify, and project the likely techniques at the facilities through 2016. We worked to make sure beamlines are only listed and counted once, although many have capabilities across techniques, and some (microprobes in particular) might be thought of as spectroscopy instruments that happen to look at small samples. See a comparison of the existing beamlines (PDF) at NSLS and those planned for NSLS-II organized to this scheme is given.

With all these caveats, it should be clear there is some lack of precision in the overall exercise, but it should be helpful within particular techniques to see where gaps exist, and where capability is expected to be available at any particular time. Have a look at the individual technique tables for details. Overall, one can see from the DOE Beamline Distribution (PDF) that some areas of spectroscopy and scattering will be especially compromised during the transition.  Users are encouraged to interact with the staff at the facilities to try and understand what opportunities will be available to pursue their particular research.

The links at right lead directly to PDFs of the specific matrices.