Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences

Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences Newsletter Dec. 12, 2013

Facility News

photographs courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory

Winter Shutdown

NSLS has just entered the 2013/2014 winter shutdown, which is scheduled to continue until mid-February 2014. The unusually long 2 ½ month shutdown is due to the involvement of NSLS operations staff in NSLS-II booster ring commissioning, a necessary precursor to commissioning of the storage ring later in 2014. We will be carrying out routine maintenance and several minor upgrades at the CSB NSLS beamlines during the shutdown period to ensure successful startup in early 2014. Currently, NSLS X-ray operations are scheduled to resume on February 19, 2014, however, early unscheduled operations in the early February timeframe are under consideration by NSLS management based on progress with NSLS-II commissioning activities. Please contact CSB beamline scientists in January if you require early beamtime next year.

NIH Funding Update

In addition, we are pleased to note that we submitted our grant application to NIH-NIBIB in late September for renewal of our P30 funding for another five years, through August 2019. The review panel evaluating our grant is currently scheduled to meet in late January 2014.

CSB Beamline Updates

Synchrotron X-ray Footprinting

The X-ray Footprinting program at CSB beamline X28C has been running full tilt this Fall trimester at the NSLS, welcoming several additional new scientific projects to the beamline. Although the program is still going strong, we have also been preparing for the permanent shutdown of the NSLS in September 2014; this includes progress in the development of the NSLS-II XFP beamline and simultaneous development of our West Coast partnership at the ALS for the interim period until XFP comes online. Please contact your beamline scientist for more information about accessing the West Coast program. During the long Winter shutdown, we plan to improve beamline alignment devices for X28C and develop a cooling system for the syringe pump setup. In addition, with funding from the NSF, we will be developing an instrumented X-ray window made of diamond. Although the device will be designed as the exit window for the NSLS-II XFP beamline, prototype testing at X28C is expected to replace the aluminum window with a robust beam measurement (position, flux, shape) device in the Summer 2014 session.

NSLS-II XFP Update: CSB staff have been working closely with BNL Photon Sciences staff to develop the front end for 3-pole wiggler beamlines (including XFP). The somewhat unusual design includes a focusing mirror inside of the shield wall, required to capture the wide fan of radiation from this X-ray source. Planning for the first optical enclosure (FOE) layout is also currently underway. Please see the XFP page on the CSB website for details. We are also very pleased to welcome our newly appointed BNL Photon Sciences liaison to XFP, Dr. Howard Robinson, who will be facilitating the design review and construction scheduling process for the beamline as well as interaction with PSD engineering staff.

X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy: Continuing Upgrades with an Eye to the Future

The CSB XAS program concluded another strong year of supporting many productive external users. In the face of reduced NSLS operating hours, we alleviated oversubscription of X3B by making X3A available to XAS users through the NSLS General User program. X3A has provided much-needed extra capacity for beamtime for many of you. During the long maintenance shutdown, we plan to install a set of sagittally focusing Si(220) crystals in the X3A monochromator, with testing occurring during the first few weeks of operations in February 2014. This work is part of our ongoing effort to develop improved sagittal focusing capabilities, particularly at the higher energies (15-25 keV) not accessible with our standard Si(111) crystals.

On the NSLS-II front, we are working with the team developing the NSLS-II Inner Shell Spectroscopy (ISS) beamline to provide optimal capabilities for biological XAS users. ISS is being built as part of the DOE-funded NSLS-II Experimental Tools (NEXT) Project, and is expected to be complete in mid-to-late 2016. We recently submitted a Partner User Proposal for ISS to the Photon Sciences Division (PSD) at BNL, under which CSB will provide scientific user support and assist in daily operation of ISS at NSLS-II. This proposal is currently being reviewed by PSD management. We are also involved in a dialog between NSLS/NSLS-II and SSRL to provide additional capacity for displaced XAS users following the September 2014 shutdown of NSLS. A memorandum of understanding to formalize this agreement is currently being negotiated by the Directors for Science at both facilities.

Continuing the Productive X29 Crystallography Partnership at NSLS-II FMX/AMX

X29 continued its outstanding productivity during the past year, currently standing in second place in the world in PDB deposits during 2013, behind only BU17U from the SSRF. X29 will permanently shut down on September 30, 2014 when the final NSLS shutdown occurs. NIH has funded two macromolecular crystallography beamlines, FMX and AMX, at NSLS-II. These two beamlines are being constructed by the Photon Sciences Division at BNL and are scheduled to be operational in mid-2016. CSB participated in the original Beamline Development Proposals in 2010, and we have been actively involved in the design of the two beamlines since then. We submitted a Partner User Proposal to the PSD to assist in operation of FMX and AMX in September 2013, and this proposal is under review by PSD management. With a partnership at FMX and AMX, the CSB will continue providing excellent support for your data collection experience in crystallography at NSLS-II.

For additional information:

Mark Chance, Director
(216) 368-4406
Jen Bohon, Beamline Scientist (X28C)
(631) 344-4613
Erik Farquhar, Beamline Scientist (X3B)
(631) 344-8174
Wuxian Shi, Beamline Scientist (X29A)
(631) 344-2099
Michael Sullivan, Chief Engineer
(631) 344-3800
John Toomey, Snr Technical Specialist
(631) 344-7057
Donald Abel, Technical Support Specialist
(631) 344-5154
Rhijuta D'Mello, Scientific Associate
(631) 344-3245

National Synchrotron Light Source
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Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973