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  • Spring 2009—Aladdin Newsletter No. 45

    Synchrotron Radiation Center

    Posted 04-17-2009

    In this issue:

    1. Remembering Cliff Olson
    2. New Apple Undulator Installed
    3. New IR Beamline Commissioned and Highlighted on Cover of Synchrotron Radiation News
    4. From the Director: An Update on SRC and WiFEL Funding
    5. Quantum Lunches and Newsflashes
    6. Staff Changes
    7. Awards and Accolades
    8. 2009 Users’ Meeting

    1. Remembering Cliff Olson

    On February 21, 2009, SRC, its Staff and Users, lost a good friend and colleague with the death of Cliff Olson. Cliff came to SRC in 1970 as a young post-doctoral fellow with the Ames Laboratory Group and spent his entire career conducting solid-state research at the facility. During his illustrious career which spanned 38 years, Cliff was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, a critic, a spokesperson, a historian, a storyteller, an advocate, and a teacher, as well as a first rate scientific researcher.

    He established and maintained a strong research program at SRC, first at Tantalus working on optical properties of solids by reflectance and modulation spectroscopy, then on Aladdin, where he used photoelectron spectroscopy to study important problems in condensed-matter physics. The latter include cuprates, where he and collaborators were the first to measure the superconducting gap, the phase change in cerium, heavy-fermion systems, quasicrystals, and C60.

    He was widely recognized for his scientific accomplishments, and his collaborators came from all over the United States and the world. He gave generously of his time and resources. Graduate student or seasoned researcher, administrator or technician, friend or mere acquaintance – many benefited by knowing and working with Cliff. He will be missed greatly.

    2. New Apple Undulator Installed

    In addition to the long straight sections that form the sides of the Aladdin "square," space exists between individual bending magnets that allow installation of one-meter long insertion devices. During the recent April Development week, installation of a new variable polarization, VLS PGM beamline was completed with placement of an elliptically polarized Apple II undulator (EPU) in one of these spaces in the northeast corner of Aladdin. Commissioning has begun and, after several months of testing and measurements, the beamline is expected to be available for users in Fall 2009.

    The EPU is designed to allow for the independent translation of all magnetic arrays along the beam direction. This flexibility enables operating modes providing horizontal and vertical polarization as well as left and right circular polarization. In addition, the new beamline was designed to relieve the oversubscription for User beamtime on the existing undulator PGM and has a similar spectral coverage.

    The new beamline has a range of up to 250 eV with more than 2 × 1011 photons/sec. This flux will be delivered in a spot size of less than 200 μm × 40 μm (hor. × ver.). With a minimum magnetic gap of 17 mm and Aladdin operating at 0.8 GeV, the lowest photon energies emitted by the device when tuned to horizontally, vertically, and circularly polarized radiation are 11, 15.8, and 11.9 eV, respectively.

    The variable polarization properties of the new beamline allow experimenters to study symmetry related properties in high Tc materials and other highly correlated electron systems. The tunability between light of opposite circular polarization opens up a completely new era for SRC researchers interested in the magnetic or chiral properties of materials in spin electronics and tailored nano structures. In addition the beamline characteristics will also be very attractive for users studying photoionization and photochemical processes in gases and biological systems.

    3. New IR Beamline Commissioned and Highlighted on Cover of Synchrotron Radiation News

    The SRC and Carol Hirschmugl (UW-Milwaukee) have designed, constructed and commissioned a new mid-infrared beamline (IRENI), enabling the opportunity to obtain chemical images with diffraction-limited (or better) resolution in minutes—a noteworthy instrumentation project recently highlighted on the cover of SRN. From the earliest experiments with optical microscopes, researchers have examined the appearance of microbes and other microscopic plants and animals. Beyond the visual appearance of these structures, knowledge of their chemical makeup would provide great insight into how these sub-cellular structures function in a living cell. Moreover, tracking the changes in their chemical makeup would allow scientists to understand the organism's response to changing environmental conditions. The development of a chemically sensitive infrared microscope with multiple, parallel detection channels will greatly expand the ability to examine such biological structures and to track their changes over minutes.

    The development of this chemically sensitive infrared microscope will greatly expand the ability to examine such biological structures, and to track changes over minutes, a revolution in synchrotron-enabled science. This microscope is available for the entire SRC user community across a wide array of disciplines (e.g. soft matter condensed physics, nanoscience, biology, chemistry, veterinary science, engineering, environmental science and geology). In the case of Hirschmugl's own work, initial research projects will include examining kinetics of living cells (phytoplankton), fungi and bacteria-mineral interactions—studies that may provide insights into applications including biodiesel or even pharmaceuticals.

    4. From the Director: An Update on SRC and WiFEL Funding

    As most everyone in the SRC community knows, a proposal for research and development of a next generation lightsource—a Free Electron Laser Facility—was written with colleagues from MIT and submitted to NSF more than a year ago. The most recent news is that this project, the WiFEL (Wisconsin Free Electron Laser) R and D proposal, will not be funded in this round of competition. However, the NSF sees the national need for a soft X-ray facility of this groundbreaking type and is supportive of our initiative in principle. Thus, we have good reason to hope that funding could be granted for a critical portion of the original R and D proposal and we will be able to move forward relatively soon.

    Adjacent to this, we will be meeting with NSF people regarding the future of SRC and Aladdin. At this point, the current cooperative agreement has been extended for a year, through April 2010, to give time for these discussions to bear fruit. Specifics about further funding will be forthcoming. It is clear that vocal support of our user community will be an important part of considerations by the Foundation on what level and duration of support they would entertain in the future.

    The SRC User Advisory Committee Chair Tai Chang Chiang is working hard to communicate user needs to the agency and any assistance other users can offer him in this regard would be most appreciated. Finally, I would like to extend many thanks to all of the staff, users, and friends of SRC who have worked hard to make this laboratory such an important and valuable facility. It is our intention to work tirelessly to ensure that the strong commitment to lightsources and light-enabled research extends far into the future at UW Madison.

    5. Quantum Lunches and Newsflashes

    Two important activities were initiated during the past year and are gaining good steam at SRC: Quantum Lunches and Newsflashes. Quantum Lunches, as the name implies, occur each quantum (normally during the second week) and call upon a user to present a brief talk about their work. These talks are meant to be aimed a general audience and to be rather more relaxed and informal than a professional meeting talk or even a seminar presentation. These lunches have been a great opportunity for SRC users and staff to learn more about the impressive range of research conducted at SRC. And, if you don’t happen to have a lunch that day, there’s free pizza.

    Secondly, in another effort to highlight research accomplishments of users, SRC has begun to post research "Newsflashes" on the SRC website. These short summaries of SRC users’ recent research findings are meant to help the broader SRC community learn about the important work that is enabled by Aladdin. Please get in touch with ideas for Quantum Lunch speakers or to let us know about any noteworthy research accomplishments that might provide for a good Newsflash.

    6. Staff Changes

    New to the Education and Outreach Group is Eric Verbeten, an intern working on a history of SRC project. Eric is a junior at UW Madison studying history of science with an interest in physics. Also new to the group is Tyler Tallman, who replaces Kyle Ripp as the technical support specialist for the group. Tyler is an undergraduate at UW Madison studying engineering mechanics.

    UW-Madison graduate student Tim Hartman, who received his B.S. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has started his Research Assistantship appointment at SRC in January 2009. He will work with Ralf Wehlitz towards his Ph.D. in Physics developing a velocity-map-imaging spectrometer for double-photoionization studies.

    7. Awards and Accolades

    8. 2009 Users’ Meeting

    Mark your calendars, this year’s Users’ Meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23 and 24, 2009. A call for abstracts and further information will be coming soon.


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