Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences

Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences Newsletter May 28, 2014

Facility News

Spring has arrived, and with it, the conclusion of the January-April 2014 trimester of operations at NSLS. Following a short May shutdown, both NSLS storage rings are once again providing photons for the final cycle of operations. Unfortunately, the X-ray ring has developed a water-into-vacuum leak at X21 similar to one that occurred last summer that resulted in the loss of several weeks of beamtime. While a more permanent solution is being developed, the X-ray ring is operating at reduced current (max. fill to 200 mA, rather than the normal 300 mA). Contact us if you have any questions about possible effects on your experiments.

The final shutdown of the NSLS X-ray and VUV rings is scheduled for 4:00PM on Tuesday, 30 September 2014. There are a number of activities being planned to commemorate the conclusion of NSLS operations, including an end-of-operations picnic and a retrospective symposium on the scientific achievements of the NSLS. We expect that you will be hearing more about these activities as the summer progresses.

Construction activities continue to accelerate across the street at NSLS-II, with a number of new beamlines entering the construction phase while the early project beamlines are nearing the final stages of beamline installation. The NSLS-II Project also recently reached a key performance milestone in commissioning of the accelerator, successfully storing 25 mA of current in the storage ring.

CSB Beamline Updates

Synchrotron X-ray Footprinting: Transition to NSLS-II XFP

X28C update: The X-ray synchrotron footprinting program at NSLS X28C has been running full throttle this past trimester; based on the number of user requests already received, this will continue unabated until the last photon flies at NSLS. Because beamtime is in very high demand this last cycle, it is important that all users plan ahead as much as possible, requesting and preparing for scheduled dates and sending detailed project, safety and sample information as far in advance of beamtime as possible.

Transition update: A footprinting "endstation" has been constructed and is being tested for use at the ALS. This endstation will support both the multi-sample holder and the multi-pump/capillary flow cell system (with accessories used for live cell programs). It is expected that we will be participating in a user proposal system to access the 5.3.1 beamline at ALS starting January 2015, with the first proposal deadline in September 2014. Please contact your beamline scientist for more information about accessing the West Coast program, and you will be assisted with this process.

NSLS-II XFP Update: The XFP beamline project is moving forward in step with the first set of NxtGen beamlines at NSLS-II, with an expected completion date in late 2015 (GU beam in early 2016). Designs for beamline optics and for the experimental hutch enclosure have been completed; these major beamline components are currently entering the procurement process. For details on the design and latest progress on the project, please see the XFP page on the CSB website.

Biological XAS Beamline Developments at NSLS-II

We recently completed a partner user agreement with BNL Photon Sciences for a CSB contribution to the NSLS-II Inner Shell Spectroscopy (ISS) beamline, which is currently under construction and expected to become fully available to users by early 2017. As a Partner User, CSB will contribute experimental and technical support to ISS beamline construction, commissioning and operations. In return, we will receive 10% of available beamtime on the beamline. Of this fraction, at least 75% will be allocated to biological X-ray spectroscopy users through the NSLS-II General User Program. Given the expected flux and detection capabilities of ISS, sample throughput will likely be significantly greater than what you experience today. We continue to work with the ISS development team to define endstation sample capabilities and the beamline's early biological sciences program.

We are also pleased to report that BNL Photon Sciences has submitted a proposal to the DOE Office of Biological & Environmental Research to develop an NSLS-II beamline called "Correlated Spectroscopy and Macromolecular Crystallography at a Three Pole Wiggler", or SM3. The SM3 science program will support single crystal spectroscopy correlated with macromolecular crystallography, as well as solution-based biological XAS, providing a means to rapidly transition two strong programs from the NSLS. If funded, SM3 is expected to commence user operations as early as late 2016.

If you have any questions about biological XAS at ISS or SM3, feel free to contact Erik Farquhar. Inquiries can also be directed to the ISS group leader, Klaus Attenkofer, or the PI of the SM3 proposal, Allen Orville.

Macromolecular Crystallography: Transition to NSLS-II

We have recently signed a Partner User Agreement with BNL Photon Sciences for Frontier Macromolecular Crystallography at an Undulator (FMX) and Flexible Access Macromolecular Crystallography at an Undulator (AMX), the two NIH-funded crystallography beamlines at NSLS-II. As a Partner User, CSB will assist in construction, commissioning and operation of these two beamlines. FMX is a micro-focusing beamline with beam sizes of 1-20 microns. The flux will be in the range of 1013 photon/s, ~100 times that of X29. The energy range for FMX is 5-23 keV with a possible upgrade to higher energy. AMX is a mini-focusing beamline with beam size of 10-100 microns and similar flux of 1013 photon/s. Both beamlines will be highly automated with advanced robotics to handle crystals. The overall data collection speed including crystal handling will be at least 5 times faster than X29. In addition, the high brightness of AMX and especially FMX will be beyond the current state of the art and be ideal for a range of difficult crystallography problems. The estimated starting date for FMX and AMX operations is mid-2016. There will be a commissioning period with user participation prior to that, so experienced users might get beamtime in early 2016.

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
Building 725
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973