LCLS Soft X-ray Materials Science (SXR)

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June 23, 2014
Press Release
DNA’s molecular building blocks absorb ultraviolet light so strongly that sunlight should deactivate them – yet it doesn’t. A new SLAC study reveals details of a “relaxation response” that protects these molecules and the genetic information they encode.
Illustration showing a thymine molecule, DNA helix and the sun.
April 16, 2014
News Feature
A new study, based on an experiment at SLAC's X-ray laser, pins down a major factor behind the appearance of superconductivity—the ability to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency—in a promising copper-oxide material.
Image - In this illustration, stripes of charge run in perpendicular "ripples" between the copper-oxide layers of a material (top). When a mid-infrared laser pulse strikes the material, it "melts" these ripples and induces superconductivity.
March 6, 2014
News Feature
An experiment at SLAC’s X-ray laser has revealed the first atomic-scale details of a new technique that could point the way to faster data storage in smartphones, laptops and other devices.
Image - A laser-driven electric pulse excites a magnetic response in a multiferroic material that is measured by SLAC's X-ray laser pulse (blue).
July 28, 2013
Press Release
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have clocked the fastest-possible electrical switching in magnetite, a naturally magnetic mineral. Their results could drive innovations in the tiny transistors that control the flow of electricity across silicon chips, enabling faster, more powerful computing devices.
Artists concept shows laser hitting atomic structure and breaking it
April 4, 2013
News Feature
Stephanie Mack, 20, read and reread the email in disbelief.
Photo - Shih-Wen Huang, left, and Stephanie Mack in Soft X-ray Instrument  control room
March 14, 2013
Press Release
The ultrafast, ultrabright X-ray pulses of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) have enabled unprecedented views of a catalyst in action, an important step in the effort to develop cleaner and more efficient energy sources.
Artist rendition: molecules react with the surface of a catalyst in real time
November 12, 2012
Press Release
Menlo Park, Calif. — Researchers using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to strip most of the electrons from xenon atoms, creating a “supercharged,” strongly positive state at energies previously thought too low.
Photo of the CAMP Chamber at LCLS
January 31, 2012
News Feature
Scientists have found a way to distort the atomic arrangement and change the magnetic properties of an important class of electronic materials with ultra-short pulses of terahertz (mid-infrared) laser light without heating the material up.
This graphic depicts an ultrashort pulse of terahertz light distorting a manganite crystal lattice