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ALSNews Vol. 353 Print

Covalent Bonding in Actinide Sandwich Molecules

STXM studies have revealed unexpected bonding interactions in two key organometallic actinide "sandwich" complexes, which are vital as industrial or bioinorganic catalysts and as precursors for nanomaterial synthesis. Differences in their covalent bonding could profoundly affect their chemical and physical properties. Read more...


Contact: Stefan Minasian

New ALS Technique Gives Nanoscale Views of Complex Systems

ALS researchers recently developed a broadband imaging technique that looks inside the mesoscale realm with unprecedented sensitivity and range. The new technique, called Synchrotron Infrared Nano-Spectroscopy (SINS), will enable in-depth study of complex molecular systems, including liquid batteries, living cells, novel electronic materials, and stardust. Read more...


Contact: Mike Martin

Ring Leader: Tim Kuneli, Electronics Maintenance Group


The recent ALS power supply failure was one of the most challenging projects that Electronics Engineer Technical Superintendent Tim Kuneli has worked on in his 12 years at the ALS. And judging by how quickly ALS engineering and accelerator physics staff resolved the issue and the ingenuity involved in the fix, it may also be one of his most successful. Read more about Kuneli and how he and his team keep the ALS rolling...



A New Cleanroom for a Next-Generation Semiconductor Research Tool

clean room

This ALS shutdown marks the fruition of many long-range projects, and for SEMATECH, a consortium of semiconductor manufacturing companies that funds research and engineering projects at Beamline 11.3.2, this year's shutdown includes the construction of a new cleanroom that will house an exciting, cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool. Read more...

Contact: Patrick Naulleau

Our Youngest Users Win Big at Maker Faire

bpc winners

Over the last couple of months we have been featuring stories and a video about seventh-grade teacher Chris Mytko and her intrepid students who conducted experiments at the ALS and recreated their results using 3D printing. They took their work and demonstrations to the Maker Faire and wowed the crowds--and the judges--winning two prestigious awards. Read about their success here!

2014 ALS Shutdown: Week Three


We're in our third week of the shutdown at the ALS and are making very good progress on all the prioritized tasks that we need to accomplish by early July. The old storage-ring radiofrequency crowbar system has been removed, and the new high-voltage switch is being built in situ. At the current pace, high-voltage testing of the new system will begin in early June. Read more...

Contact: Steve Rossi

New Video: The ALS X-Ray Optics Laboratory

x ray optics labExperimental Systems Group (ESG) members Valeriy Yashchuk, Ian Lacey, and Nikolay Artemiev take us behind the scenes into the new X-Ray Optics Laboratory in Bldg. 15, a Class 10,000 clean room with a wide variety of extremely precise metrology equipment for characterizing the x-ray optics (mirrors and gratings) essential to modern light-source science. Suit up in your virtual coveralls and enter...

ALS Communications

Around the ALS in Photos: Not Quite Thirty-Six Views ... in Hokusai's prints of Mount Fuji, but a good sampling nevertheless, of the view from our hill. ALS staff and users are incredibly fortunate to work at a location that affords beautiful views of the surrounding hills as well as spectacular vistas of San Francisco Bay that include Berkeley, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, and San Francisco itself. People can often be seen taking pictures of the Bay from various viewpoints in front of the User Support Building; here are some photos from staff that show the beauty that we get to enjoy daily.

Contact: ALS Communications

Follow Us on Social Media and Share Our Stories

Keep up to date on ALS facility news, recent science highlights, upcoming events and activities, and staff and user news on our newly revamped social media. ALS Facebook and Twitter sites provide a daily (usually!) dose of ALS news, while YouTube features short, informative videos of ALS science and people. Photos, charts, and diagrams on our Flickr site are available for downloading for posters and presentations.

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View our videos on YouTube


View our photos on flickr

Contact: ALS Communications

In Memory: Carmen Escobar and Tom Alber

The ALS community lost two former colleagues over the last couple of months.

Former ALS administrator Carmen Escobar, who cheerfully handled mounds of user proposals until moving to EETD in 2009, died in early May.


alberTom Alber, UC professor and ALS user, was an early and fundamental contributor to the development and success of structural biology at the ALS. Read recollections about Tom and his scientific contributions from colleagues Howard Padmore and James Holton.

Contact: ALS Communications

Science Cafe
ALS Science Café
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 @ 12 noon in USB 15-253
Topics and speakers are:

Flame wars: Probing chemistry with hot nozzles

Musa Ahmed (Chemical Sciences)

Committing SINS with the ALS
Hans Bechtel (ALS)

From prehistoric flint blades to Chinese Jian ceramics: Can the study of ancient artifacts help create better materials for today's technology?

Nobumichi Tamura (ALS)
The event will be moderated by Roger Falcone; light refreshments will be provided.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Moxon.

2014 ALS User Meeting
October 6-8, 2014 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (see following story)
UEC Corner

2014 ALS User Meeting: Save the Date and Call for Workshops

nicoFrom the ALS User Meeting Organizing Committee:

A series of workshops will be held as part of the 2014 Advanced Light Source User Meeting, October 6-8, 2014. The ALS Users' Executive Committee (UEC) is having an open call for proposals to host workshops at this meeting.

These workshops provide valuable forums for detailed presentations and in-depth discussions on issues related to synchrotron-based science. They can be focused around scientific topics, technique development, and photon-science theory. We are particularly interested in proposals on rapidly evolving scientific topics and future directions for the ALS.

We look forward to your suggestions for workshop topics. Please submit your suggestions using the provided template by email to the User Meeting organizers by Friday, May 30.

The proposals will be evaluated and selected by the UEC according to their perceived relevance. Given the limited number of workshop spaces available, we may work to combine proposals that have a similar theme.

Workshop Proposal Template

1. Workshop title

2. Organizers and their affiliations

3. A short (one paragraph) description of the topical area, why it is

timely, and the target audience

4. The duration of the workshop (half-day, full-day, 1-1/2 day)

With best regards,

Andreas Scholl and David Shuh

Users' Executive Committee and ALS User Meeting Co-Chairs

Operations Update

For the user runs from April 16 to May 4, 2014, the beam reliability [(time scheduled - time lost)/time scheduled)] was 65.8%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 40.2 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 1,261 minutes. A critical failure occurred during this period which resulted in the loss of 119.6 hours of scheduled user beam (an entire operational week): on April 22 at 2 AM, a transformer in the power supply of the ALS's QFA (quadrupole focusing) magnets failed.  The recovery effort was extensive (see  "Crews Work Overtime to Restore Beamtime" for details).  After the recovery, the ALS was able to supply 58.2 hours of unscheduled light to users (by canceling accelerator physics, maintenance, and installation shifts.)

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 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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