The ALS is a third generation synchrotron light source, providing over 35 beamlines, where samples may be illuminated with x-ray, ultraviolet or infrared light to explore the structure and electronic properties of materials. The ALS operates as a national user facility, and is open to researchers worldwide to submit proposals for research.
An ALS user is a researcher who has been granted access to use the facilities provided. Many users travel to the synchrotron with their samples to carry out their experiments, but a growing number send their samples to ALS staff and then either operate a beamline remotely to collect their data, or arrange for staff to collect the data for them.
Before submitting a General User Proposal, it is recommended that the interested research group determines the best facility for their planned experiment. We provide a number of tools and contacts to help you:
All users are responsible for the day-to-day costs of research (supplies, phone calls, technical support, etc.). The ALS does not charge for beam time if the user's research is nonproprietary (results are published in open literature).
Users from industrial companies are welcome to do both nonproprietary and proprietary research at the ALS. Proposals for non-proprietary industrial research should be submitted in the same way as all other proposals and will be reviewed and allocated beam time by the same mechanism.
Read stories about Industry at the ALS.
The ALS User Policy provides an overview of current practices and procedures for current and potential users so that they can propose and perform experiments at the ALS with all the technical, experiment, and administrative support they require for successful and efficient use of beam time. The kinds of access for users, i.e., General Users, Approved Programs, and Participating Research Teams, are described.
The first steps to becoming a user are to determine the appropriate beamline on which carry out the desired experiment, and then to submit a proposal following the guidelines in the User Guide.