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  • Aladdin newsletter header

    May / June 1997


    A tentative date has been set for the SRC Users Meeting: It is planned for Friday, Oct. 17, preceding a topical workshop on correlated electron systems on Saturday Oct 18th. Suggestions for the meeting, including the date, are welcomed. E-mail them to Franz Himpsel(


    This year's Aladdin Lamp Award went to Krista Mullman for her work on High Sensitivity Absorption Spectroscopy in Ions Using UV/VUV. The award recognizes excellence in synchrotron radiation research performed at SRC in pursuit of a degree. Krista performed absorption spectroscopy with iron and cobalt ions at a resolving power exceeding 300,000. They are important for determining abundances of these elements in the universe from Hubble space telescope data. Krista will join the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) next year to work on optical tweezers.

    The award was presented at a special SRC Users Meeting that took place on the occasion of the re-dedication of the SRC building in honor of Ednor M. Rowe on May 3. About 120 visitors from near and far took part in the re-dedication ceremony.


    Several groups have been using SRC to calibrate detectors and filters that will go up into orbit in the fall of 1998 with the AXAF X-ray telescope (Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility).

    The latest results come from a MIT-Harvard team that collaborated with the Canadian group at the Canadian double crystal monochromator (G. Prigozhin, J. Wu, and E. Hallin). On very short notice (first contact in early December '96 with M. Bancroft, data taken in January '97) the absolute absorption coefficients of silicon compounds were determined around the Si K edge. Absorption spectra of Si, SiO2 , and Si3N4 are essential for calibrating the CCD detectors in the Imaging Spectrometer of the AXAF. It will quantitatively measure the X-ray flux from hundreds of stars, galaxies, quasars, star remnants, and interstellar dust with high resolution.

    A Penn State team led by Leisa Townsley just completed a series of filter transmission tests for the ACIS spectrometer of the AXAF satellite. Using the multilayer-beamline in collaboration with Jim MacKay, Townsley made soft x-ray transmission images of thin optical blocking filters in the energy range from 270 eV to 1860 eV. These filters, composed of polyimide and aluminum, shield the X-ray CCD detectors mentioned above from visible light. Because of the excellent stability of the stored beam at SRC, the transmission images were able to resolve 0.5% variations in film transmission in 0.7 mm x 0.7 mm pixels over a film that is 150mm x 25 mm in size. These filters are mission-critical, i.e., a single point failure component in NASA's language. That means, there is no backup in this $ 1.2 billion mission, and servicing by the Space Shuttle is not an option.


    A second grating was just received for the plane grating monochromator, which is one of the new undulator beam lines to become operational. The first grating had an efficiency that was too low by an order of magnitude. Together with the grating exchange, other beam line improvements are being implemented. It is expected that the beam line will be operational in about a month. At that time, proposals for beam time will be solicited.


    Hartmut Hoechst went to Sweden for the first series of tests of the Scienta SES-200 electron spectrometer. At 2 eV pass energy a full width at half maximum of 5.6 meV was achieved in gas phase spectra of the Xe 5p3/2 transition using a resonance lamp. Part of the angle multidetection software and lens tables still needs to be fine tuned at Scienta prior to shipment of the instrument which is scheduled to be tested at SRC in the middle of August.

    Jenice Con Foo joined SRC as postdoc in June, working with Hartmut to connect the Scienta analyzer to Aladdin and to assist users in working with this new, top-of-the-line instrument. She has extensive experience with angle-resolved photoemission, using a toroidal analyzer built by an Australian group and operated at BESSY in Germany.


    A group of SRC users (M.G. Lagally, W. O'Brien, J.F. MacKay, F.J. Himpsel, B.P. Tonner) is working on a new growth chamber for magnetic nanostructures. It combines sputtering with MBE, which makes it possible to investigate the effects of morphology on magnetism and to compare commercial sputtering processes with lab-based MBE techniques. In use it will be coupled to one of three existing chambers that utilize synchrotron radiation for the study of magnetic films, i.e., magnetic circular dichroism, spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy, and x-ray resonant magnetic scattering. An instrumentation proposal was submitted to NSF, received all excellent reviews, and is likely to be funded. This system that should be able to lead SRC into the future by making it possible to prepare sophisticated nanostructures at a synchrotron.

    Honors for SRC Researchers and Users

    Franco Cerrina was elected Fellow of the IEEE for his work on applications of synchrotron radiation to X-ray lithography, X-ray microscopy, and X-ray optics delivery systems.

    Tom Kuech was named the Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker Chair in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

    Art Nelson was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study and conduct research in Italy.

    Krista Mullman received the Aladdin Lamp Award (see "ALADDIN LAMP AWARD")