In an ongoing effort to build closer working relationships between Berkeley Lab’s light source and nanoscale science research center, Elaine Chan has recently been appointed by the ALS and the Molecular Foundry to a new role as joint ALS/Foundry project scientist. Chan’s mission will be to foster collaborations between the two facility’s users and to communicate a wider understanding about how the two research centers are mutually scientifically beneficial.
Chan has a background in nanoscale science and has worked for four years at ALS Beamline 7.3.3, a beamline that’s hosted many Foundry users and is uniquely suited to serve the needs of ALS/Foundry research. One of the capabilities of Beamline 7.3.3 is high-throughput x-ray scattering characterization of materials, which complements the high-throughput chemical syntheses of the novel materials produced by the Foundry.
Chan’s efforts will be focused on communicating with users and coordinating scientific collaboration. To that end, she’ll begin with the launch of a seminar series at the Molecular Foundry called ALS School, which will bring ALS scientists to the Foundry user community on a regular basis to “teach” them about how various ALS capabilities can advance their science. Likewise, a similar seminar series for Foundry scientists to teach the ALS user community about their materials characterization challenges is in the works. Chan has also envisioned a new joint ALS–Foundry user highlight series that would showcase the work of ALS and Foundry users. A joint webpage that would disseminate information and showcase the highlights and the seminars is also in the works.
“The seminar series will really be our first push,” Chan says. “We’d like to sort of do away with some of the mystery of what happens at the ALS; really communicate at a basic level how the facility can serve both sets of users.”
Chan will also be working closely with Foundry users at ALS Beamline 7.3.3 to make photon science experiments more user-friendly and productive. She will be assisting Foundry users with high-throughput scattering measurements of their materials. Chan is also developing software interfaces for the beamline endstation in order to better streamline the high-throughput experimental set-ups and to facilitate the interpretation of the scattering data.
Chan notes that joint ALS/Foundry publications have been increasing steadily for the past four years, with about 25 percent of those publications coming from Beamline 7.3.3 on the ALS side. Over the last year, 16 percent of all Foundry user publications involve joint work with a variety of beamlines at the ALS. Chan believes that there are even more potential opportunities for the two user facilities to partner, and she’s excited to help them become realized.