Canada’s synchrotron, Canadian Light Source (based in Saskatchewan), has signed a new three-year deal with the US Dept. of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) that will give Canadian scientists more access to the APS facilities, according to the June 18, 2012 news item at the Nanowerk website,
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 (CLS) and the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory agreed in January 2012 to a Partner User Proposal that cements a stronger working relationship between the two facilities for the next three years. These two premier light sources use different but complementary x-ray techniques to probe materials in order to understand chemical and structural behavior.
Tone Kunz’s June 18, 2012 news release for the APS provides details about the deal,
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.
I had not realized how longstanding the CLS/APS relationship has been,
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 the 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. The new agreement will provide the valuable manpower and expertise to allow the APS to continue to push the innovation envelope. [emphasis mine]
As I was reading Kunz’s news release I kept asking, what’s in it for the APS? Apparently they need more “manpower and expertise.” Unfortunately, their future plans are a little shy of detail,
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 three-dimensional chemical maps of samples, and improved forms of spectroscopy to expand the range of elements and types of environments that can be examined.
What are the four key areas? For that matter, what is Sector 20? I suspect some of my readers have similar questions about my postings. It’s easy (especially if you write frequently) to forget that your readers may not be as familiar as you are with the subject matter.
(I wrote about the CLS and another deal with a synchrotron in the UK in my May 31, 2011 posting.)