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ALSNews Vol. 309 Print

In This Issue
Lensless Imaging of Whole Biological Cells with Soft X-Rays
Mechanical Behavior of Indium Nanostructures
Meet New Division Deputy for Operations, Michael Banda
Students in Uruguay Collect Protein Crystallography Data at the ALS
Roger Falcone Attends Prague Workshop via Skype
Ring Leaders: Experimental Systems

RingLeadersRing Leaders
Experimental Systems Group
Division Deputy for Experimental Systems Howard Padmore gives users an in-depth overview of what his group does. Read the Article

Science Café
The latest ALS Science Café was held on May 4, where more than 70 people packed Perseverance Hall to hear researchers discuss their most recent work in energy and technology.

The next ALS Science Café will be held Friday June 25 in Perseverance Hall.

Guest House Special
Visiting Berkeley Lab? Book accommodations at the new Berkeley Lab Guest House located on site. The current special features discounted rates, no occupancy tax, and  free parking; visit the Web site for more information.

whosinthenewsWho's in the News
ALS Visitors - Rep. John Garamendi, France-Berkeley Fund, and more!

NewsLinks News Links
Plasmonic Promises: First Observation of Plasmarons in Graphene

Biofuel Combustion Chemistry More Complex than Petroleum-based Fuels

Telltale Petals at the Superconductive Transition

Preventing cells from getting the kinks out of DNA

Grad Student, Postdocs Sought as Lab Tour Guides

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Lensless Imaging of Whole Biological Cells with Soft X-Rays

A team of scientists has used x-ray diffraction microscopy at ALS Beamline 9.0.1 to make images of whole yeast cells, achieving the highest resolution - 11 to 13 nanometers (billionths of a meter) - ever obtained with this method for biological specimens. Their success indicates that full 3-D tomography of whole cells at equivalent resolution should soon be possible. Large numbers of cells can currently be processed in a short time at resolutions of 40 to 60 nanometers, but the ability to increase resolution to the 10-nanometer range would enhance research capabilities in both biology and materials sciences.  Read Full Highlight

Contact: Johanna Nelson

Mechanical Behavior of Indium Nanostructures
Indium is a key material in lead-free solder applications for microelectronics due to its excellent wetting properties, extended ductility, and high electrical conductivity. With the size of electronic devices continuing to shrink and the promise of indium-based nanotechnologies, it is important to develop a fundamental understanding of this material's small-scale mechanical properties and reliability. Researchers from the University of Waterloo, California Institute of Technology, and Los Alamos National Laboratory have collaborated with a team at ALS Beamline 12.3.2 to investigate the small-scale mechanics of indium nanostructures. Scanning x-ray microdiffraction (μSXRD) studies revealed that the indium microstructure is typical of a well-annealed metal, containing very few initial dislocations and showing close-to-theoretical strength.  Read Full Highlight

Contact: Ting Tsui

Meet New Division Deputy for Operations, Michael Banda

Michael Banda has been named as the new Division Deputy for Operations (DDO) for the Advanced Light Source. "Banda," as he prefers to be called, has been with Berkeley Lab since 1999. He began as the Division Deputy for Life Sciences, and then became the founding Division Deputy for Genomics at the time when the Joint Genome Institute was formed. In 2001, Banda moved on to become Division Deputy for Computing Sciences, where he held responsibilities with the Computational Research Division and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).

His previous work with x-ray science includes an appointment as Director of the Laboratory of Radiological Biology at the University of California, San Francisco, a unit that studied the effects of radiation in applications of biochemistry and cell biology.

As the DDO, Banda will manage the overall operation of the ALS, including accelerator and beamline operations, user activities, safety, and environmental protection activities. He will be working directly with ALS Operations, Engineering, and Business Management Groups. Banda sits in Ben Feinberg's old office (80-228), and can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or x2837.

Students in Uruguay Collect Protein Crystallography Data at the ALS

The Institut Pasteur de Montevideo in Uruguay introduced students to remote protein crystallography data collection with the help of Peter Zwart at Beamline 5.0.2. A two-week, international workshop on macromolecular crystallography (MX) and its applications instructed 20 PhD students, postdocs and research assistants on the complete MX process.

Read Full Story Here

Roger Falcone Attends Prague Workshop via Skype

Last month, ALS Director Roger Falcone avoided the perils of volcanic ash and reduced his carbon footprint by "virtually" attending a brainstorming session at the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Scientific Challenges Workshopin Prague, Czech Republic. Using Skype to give his lecture and interact with participants, Falcone discussed the scientific opportunities and technological issues surrounding the capabilities of new x-ray lasers that are driven by high-energy, accelerator-produced electron beams.

The goals of the workshop were to review research opportunities at the planned facility, and to establish an international Scientific Advisory Committee, of which Falcone is now a member. Some workshop topics included repetition-rate x-ray sources with petawat pulses, plasma physics with high-intensity pulses, laboratory astrophysics, quantum dynamics in intense laser fields, and compact laser-generated electron-injected FELs.

The ELI project, a collaboration of 13 European countries, is dedicated to the investigation and application of laser-matter interactions.

OpsInfoOperations Update
For the user runs from April 14 to May 9, 2010, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 92.2%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 39.2 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 208 minutes. Within the period from April 15 - 18, three long beam outages resulted in the loss of nearly 32 hours of scheduled beam time.  These outages resulted from insufficient chiller waterflow to ALS (resulting in a trip-off of the SR gradient bend magnet power supply), problems with the storage ring SF magnet power supply, and problems within the SRRF system.

More detailed information on reliability is available on the ALS reliability bulletin board, which is located in the hallway between the ALS and the control room in Building 80. Questions about beam reliability should be directed to Dave Richardson ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , x4376).

Long-term and weekly operations schedules are available on the Web at Requests for special operations use of the "scrubbing" shift should be sent to Rick Bloemhard ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , x4738) by 1:00 p.m. Friday. A Web page showing the ring status in real time can be found at

UEC Corner

Nominate Shirley, Halbach and Renner Awardees

The ALS Users' Meeting is less than five months away. Now is a good time to consider nominating a worthy individual (or team) who has made a significant contribution to the scientific and/or user support programs at the ALS. Nomination forms for the David A. Shirley, Klaus Halbach, and Tim Renner Awards will be available online soon.

Additionally, the ALS is designing a User Portal, which will be a one-stop shop for user interactions with the ALS (submitting proposals, safety compliance, etc.). If you have experience with User Portals at other institutions, please let User Services Coordinator Sue Bailey ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) know which systems you've used and what you like about them.

The UEC members are your representatives to the ALS Management. All users are welcome to contact their UEC representatives to raise issues of concern about their own research, or to alert us to issues facing our entire community.

Contact: David Osborn
Advanced Light Source, LBNL | 1 Cyclotron Rd | MS6R2100 | Berkeley | CA | 94720