A new scattering method uses polarized x-rays to reveal the orientations of polymer chains in organic films. The orientations are relevant to a better understanding of charge-carrier mobility in organic transistors and charge separation in organic photovoltaics, leading to improved performance in “printable electronics.” Read more…
Central Activator Keeps the Circadian Clock Ticking
Most living organisms have adapted their physiology and behavior to match the daily cycle of light and dark generated by the rotation of the Earth, operating with a period of approximately 24 hours. Control of this rhythmic behavior–the “circadian clock”–is largely conserved. To understand the inner workings of the circadian clock, researchers determined the 3-D structure of the transcriptional activator complex that is its central positive component.Read more…
More than 400 users and staff registered for this year’s User Meeting. After welcomes from Users’ Executive Committee Chair Brandy Toner and Deputy Lab Director Horst Simon on Monday, October 8, attendees were treated to a full program of plenary sessions that included seven science highlights, facility updates, student poster competition and “slam,” and four keynote talks that ranged from effective science communication to MOFs. The plenary sessions were followed by 13 workshops. Read about the meeting highlights, awards, and workshops.
Industry @ ALS: Wood-Composites Industry Benefits from ALS Research
Wood scientist and ALS user Jesse Paris is getting an intimate, 3-D view of adhesive penetration in wood-composite structures thanks to ALS Beamline 8.3.2. He and colleagues at Oregon State University are now using the data he gathered through x-ray tomography scans at the ALS to build a predictive computer simulation model that will allow future researchers to gain information about how certain wood species and adhesive types will interact. Read the article.
Ring Leader: Elke Arenholz, Senior Scientist, Scientific Support Group
Senior scientist Elke Arenholz has seen a lot of changes at Beamlines 4.0.2and 6.3.1since she arrived at the ALS in 2000, but what brought her here initially is still what keeps her passionate about her work–designing new instrumentation and working with the user community to optimize research capabilities. Read the article.
Preparing for a New Era of Brightness: New Magnet Installed at ALS
On October 23, ALS Division Director Falcone and Jin Jiang, from the Shanghai Institute of Physics (SINAP), celebrated the installation of the first of 48 new combined-function sextupole magnets into Sector 1 of the ALS storage ring. The new magnets will reduce the horizontal emittance of the electron beam, resulting in up to a three-fold increase in brightness delivered to ALS users. The project–designed to keep the ALS as one of the brightest sources of soft x-rays in the world–is slated for completion early next year.
ALS Open House Draws a Crowd (Again!)
More than 6000 people came up the hill to see what is happening at Berkeley Lab during Open House on Saturday, October 13, and more than 1500 of them came even further up the hill to visit the ALS for tours, talks, and hands-on activities, all of which helped them understand how we use electrons, magnets, microscopes, and computers to conduct research at the ALS. At the X-Ray Café, ALS staff and scientists spoke one-on-one with guests about how the ALS works, why and how scientists want to use it, how it is funded, and plans for the future. Inside the ring, visitors heard science stories from beamline scientists and had souvenir family photos taken. ALS management wishes to thank the many volunteers who helped to make the ALS Open House a huge success and is hosting a volunteer appreciation lunch this Friday, Nov. 2, at noon in Room 15-253. You can see more photos on the ALS flickr site.
ALS Stars in New Video from California Academy of Sciences
In August, videographers from the California Academy of Sciences came to the ALS to film scientists talking about their work and about how the ALS provides exciting opportunities for research in everything from bone strength to faster computer chips. The video, posted on the Science Today: Beyond the Headlines Web site and showing on screens through out the Academy, is part of the Academy’s Science in Action effort “to make science accessible for everyone and discuss its relevance in our everyday lives.”See our ALS scientists at their best describing the goals and impacts of their research.
The California Academy of Sciences, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, “is a multifaceted scientific institution committed to leading-edge research, to educational outreach, and to finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire the public.”
For the user runs from September 17 to October 21, 2012, the beam reliability [(time scheduled – time lost)/time scheduled)] was 97.6%. For this period, the mean time between failures (MTBF) was 42.0 hours, and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) was 70 minutes. There were no significant interruptions.
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 (DBRichardson@lbl.gov, x4376).
Long-term and weekly operations schedules are available on the Web at