Engineering teams at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory took advantage of the lull in experiments to make important upgrades during a recent routine beam shutdown at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL). The newly outfitted beamlines will help visiting researchers and SLAC scientists run experiments using the synchrotron's extremely bright X-ray radiation.
Because the area inside the concrete shield of the SPEAR3 ring was accessible, the shutdown also created an opportunity to develop a three-dimensional virtual tour of the synchrotron, using technology from the media company Matterport. The virtual tour allows a unique look inside the busy X-ray science facility, with a total of 33 experimental stations.
At Beam Line 12, engineers installed a new in-vacuum undulator that will produce higher intensity light to service Beam Line 12-1, as well as an advanced mirror system for this beamline that will select a lower wavelength range from a broad source of X-rays. When Beam Line 12-1 comes online, it will be used for macromolecular crystallography experiments, with an emphasis on very small samples.
An advanced mirror system was also installed at Beam Line 16-2 that will help provide separation between two future end stations. This mirror also suppresses high-energy radiation and can be bent and shaped to focus the X-rays. A new monochromator arrived from Berlin and will be installed on Beam Line 16-2 in the coming months.
Each year more than 1,600 scientists from all over the world use SSRL, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, for research in a wide variety of areas including medicine, energy and environmental science, nanotechnology and materials science.
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