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Advanced Photon Source and Canadian Light Source strengthen ties

ARGONNE, Ill. (June 18, 2012) Seeking to solve some of today's greatest global problems, scientists using X-ray light source facilities at national research laboratories in the United States and Canada are sharing more expertise.

The Canadian Light Source and the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory agreed in January 2012 to a Partner User Proposal that cements a stronger working relationship for the next three years. The two premier light sources use different but complementary X-ray techniques to probe materials in order to understand chemical and structural behavior.

"The ravages of disease, the shortage of sustainable energy sources and the need for high-performance materials cross all borders," said Brian Stephenson, APS director. "By sharing technological expertise and offering scientists the complementary research techniques of the laboratories, we hope to more quickly discover answers to the challenges of our high-tech world."

This new agreement will provide Canadian scientists with more research time to use the X-ray light source facilities and more time on a larger number of APS beamlines. Using varied X-ray and imaging capabilities will broaden the range of experiments Canadians may undertake at the APS to augment their research done at the Canadian Light Source. X-ray science offers potential solutions to a broad range of problems in surface, material, environmental and earth sciences, condensed matter physics, chemistry and geosciences.

Since the sector 20 beamlines became fully operational, scientists from Canada and other areas who have used these beamlines at the APS have produced an average of 51 scientific publications a year. This research includes the study of more effective mineral exploration strategies, ways to mitigate mine waste and mercury contamination, and novel ways to fabricate nanomaterials for use in fuel cells, batteries and LEDs.

"Having secure access to brilliant beams of hard X-rays has allowed the CLS to concentrate our local efforts on those applications best suited to the performance characteristics of our lattice while continuing to support Canadian scientists in programs that are truly best served by doing the science at the CLS or the APS, whichever provides the best performance," said Josef Hormes, CLS executive director.

Before the Canadian Light Source began operation in 2004, a Canadian group led by Daryl Crozier of Simon Fraser University, working in partnership with colleagues at the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, helped found the sector 20 beamlines at the APS as part of the Pacific Northwest Consortium Collaborative Access Team, or PNC-CAT. Parts of this team were included in the X-ray Science Division of the APS when it was formed.

This long-standing partnership has led to scientifically significant upgrades to the beamline. This new agreement will provide the valuable manpower and expertise to allow the APS to continue to push the innovation envelope.

Scientists from the APS and the Canadian Light Source will work together on R&D projects to improve light-source technology. In particular, scientists will upgrade even further the two beamlines at sector 20 in four key areas. This will provide a unique capability to prepare and measure in situ films and interfaces, a new technique to create quantitative 3-D chemical maps of samples, and improved forms of spectroscopy to expand the range of elements and types of environments that can be examined.

"Canadian researchers have been strongly involved with the APS since its inception," Stephenson said. "This expanded agreement builds on our long history of successful collaboration and promises a continued future of plentiful science results and technological innovations."


Contact: Tona Kunz
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

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