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ALSNews Vol. 361 Print
Monday, 23 February 2015 15:18

In Situ X-Ray Scattering Helps Optimize Printed Solar Cells

307 printingPrintable plastic solar cells are a potential source of inexpensive renewable energy, but the transition from lab to factory results in decreased efficiency. Now, for the first time, a miniature solar-cell printer installed in a beamline allows researchers to use x-ray diffraction and scattering to figure out why. Read more...


Contact: Feng Liu

New Technique Gives a Deeper Look into the Chemistry of Interfaces

306 thumbA new technique developed at the ALS offers sub-nanometer resolution of every chemical element to be found at heterogeneous interfaces, such as those in batteries and fuel cells. The technique is very promising for measuring such important interfaces, with relevance to energy research, heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, and atmospheric and environmental science. Read more...

Contact: Charles Fadley
Data-Transfer Solutions for ALS Users

data transferWorking at the ALS generates huge amounts of data, and for many years this has caused users to have to carry hard drives and USB drives between the ALS and their home institutions for acquisition and analysis of experimental data. To avoid the physical transport of data and to make real-time analysis possible, staff at the ALS, ESnet, and Berkeley Lab's IT Division have collaborated to implement several best practices that allow the fast and secure transfer of data over the network to a user's home institution. Read more...

General User Proposals Due Wednesday, March 4

calendarThe User Office is accepting new General User Proposals (GUPs) from scientists who wish to conduct research at the ALS in the July-December 2015 cycle.


Users need to log in to ALSHub to submit a new GUP or to make a Beam Time Request (BTR) for an existing active proposal. Read more about GUPs, how to apply for beamtime, maintaining an active proposal, and RAPIDD access proposals.

What Are User Agreements?

agreementsDid you know it is a DOE requirement that a signed User Agreement must be in place before a user group can start work at ALS?  The User Agreement is a formal contract between the user's organization and The Regents of the University of California, the facility operator of Berkeley Lab. Read more...

Contact: Susan Bailey

Around the ALS in Photos: An Appreciation for Light Sources

lightsourcesMembers of, the international collaboration of synchrotron communicators, came to see the ALS while in the Bay Area for their annual meeting and to attend the AAAS conference in San Jose. And while everyone was accustomed to the sights and sounds of light source facilities, they had a great time talking to ALS beamline scientists and taking lots of pictures of our amazing facility, and well, of course the view! See the photos...

Our Youngest Users Come in 2nd in Crystallography Video Contest

black pine circle slimeCongratulations to Sam and Flynn of Black Pine Circle School for winning second prize in the International Year of Crystallography 2014 video contest! Their video was about using crystallography at the ALS to learn more about how cross-linked polymers like slime—shown at left by fellow students—work.

Operations Update

For the user runs from January 23 to February 15, 2015, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.9%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 64.6 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 95 minutes. There were no significant interruptions.

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 online. Requests for special operations use of the "scrubbing" shift should be sent to  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by 1:00 p.m. Friday. The ring status can be seen in real time at

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