Doe Science news source
The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2018-04-11 16:05:40
  • Article ID: 692630

Sending Electrons on a Roller-Coaster Ride

  • Credit: Image by Argonne National Laboratory / Richard Fenner.

    Susan Bettenhausen (left), William Jansma (right) and Matthew Kasa (center) work on the helical superconducting undulator being readied for installation at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source.

  • Credit: Image by Argonne National Laboratory / Richard Fenner.

    Matthew Kasa and Susan Bettenhausen of the APS Accelerator Division Magnetic Devices Group put the finishing touches on installation of the Helical Superconducting Undulator in Sector 7 of the APS storage ring.

  • Credit: Image by Argonne National Laboratory / Richard Fenner.

    Argonne’s Helical Superconducting Undulator team includes Efim Gluskin, Yury Ivanyushenkov, Yuko Shiroyanagi, Joel Fuerst, Ibrahim Kesgin, Matt Kasa, Quentin Hasse and Susan Bettenhausen (left to right).

A first-of-its-kind X-ray instrument for frontier research with high-brightness X-rays is now in operation at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. The new device utilizes a unique superconducting technology that speeds electrons on a path much like that of a roller coaster.

The insertion device (ID), called a Helical Superconducting Undulator (HSCU), was designed at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Argonne. The device offers three primary advantages over other types of IDs for producing high-brightness X-rays: (1) it generates a stronger magnetic field than other IDs; (2) it allows researchers to select a single energy from the X-ray beam without using any X-ray optics; and (3) it produces an X-ray beam with circular polarization. Argonne developed the helical undulator with $2 million in funding from the DOE Office of Science.

“By looking at the X-rays and how they scatter and shimmer, we can tell how molecules are moving around in the material and on what timescales they are moving around.” — Jonathan Lang, director of the X-ray Science division at the APS.

Taken together, these advantages are exciting to researchers because the device allows them to collect data faster and more cleanly than with other, similar technology, as the HSCU does not require an extra optical device to perform experiments.

A typical ID is a set of powerful periodic magnetic structures that create high-brightness, forward-directed synchrotron radiation emission by forcing a stored charged particle beam (electrons at the APS) to perform wiggles or undulations as it passes through the device. The HSCU is the latest in a two-decade-long series of innovative IDs designed and delivered by Argonne scientists and engineers for the APS and other DOE synchrotron X-ray facilities.

A helical superconducting undulator is a very challenging device to integrate into an operating electron storage ring, such as the one at the APS, because it introduces strong limitations on the handling of the electron beam in the storage ring. It might cause disruptions in ring operations and, hence, in delivery of X-rays to waiting researchers. The ingenious mechanical and magnetic design of the HSCU coil geometry developed by APS engineers and physicists makes it nondisruptive to the steady operation of the APS storage ring. Researchers only know the HSCU is there because of the X-ray beams it delivers.

Efim Gluskin, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and former APS division director who has led the undulator program at the APS from its inception, likened the motion of the electron bunch in the HSCU to the looping motion of a coiling roller coaster like the X Flight ride at the Six Flags Great America amusement park near Chicago. As electrons corkscrew through the device’s magnetic field, they generate the circularly polarized radiation.

But in order to force the spiral motions of electrons, a special magnet had to be built with a strong spiraling magnetic field. That goal was accomplished by wrapping superconducting wires around a corkscrew-shaped section of iron. The end result is a 1.1-meter-long superconducting electromagnet with many spiral-shaped, alternating-north-south magnetic poles; when the HSCU is energized, these magnetic poles send the electrons on their spiral path.

The HSCU provides researchers with a more intense X-ray beam that allows for faster data acquisition than conventional undulators, at timescales of a billionth of a second. Like conventional undulators, the new type of undulator can enable research on a range of complex phenomena, including the evolving dynamics of complex fluid flow and the magnetism of metals.

When operating conventional undulators, scientists must use an extra device equipped with X-ray optical components called monochromators to select their preferred X-ray beam energy. But the HSCU immediately delivers a monochromatic X-ray beam directly from the undulator to the sample being studied without the help of a monochromator. This design not only provides a more intense beam, but also a more coherent (or perfect) beam since any optic will have small imperfections that can introduce unwanted distortions into the X-ray beam. On the top of that advantage, the ability to produce circularly polarized radiation is important, since circular light is sensitive to properties of a material such as magnetism and molecular chirality — or handedness — that linear or unpolarized light cannot see. 

The new undulator began operating at the Sector 7-ID X-ray beamline of the APS on January 19, 2018. This beamline, managed by the Argonne X-ray Sciences division, is dedicated to ultrafast time-resolved measurements of materials. Scientists are planning to use the new device to study the dynamics of fuel injection; a better understanding of that process could lead to more fuel-efficient motor vehicles.

“They can bring this beam directly from the undulator and do a standard imaging experiment, like you would have an X-ray taken in a doctor’s office or a dental facility. But you can do it very fast here,” at intervals of a billionth of a second, said Jonathan Lang, director of the X-ray Science division at the APS.

Another technique that will benefit from the new undulator is X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. This technique is the X-ray equivalent of shining a laser pointer against a wall; the spot it generates appears to shimmer, the result of intensity variations. “That’s caused by the roughness of the wall,” Lang said.

If that roughness were to change millions of times per second, scientists would be able to detect the corresponding change in the wall’s interference pattern using X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. The single wavelength provided by the new undulator will permit experimenters to examine how materials evolve at even faster timescales than were possible before. “By looking at the X-rays and how they scatter and shimmer, we can tell how molecules are moving around in the material and on what timescales they are moving around,” Lang said.

The new undulator will also be used to perform phase contrast imaging to highlight certain aspects of the phenomena under study, such as diesel fuel that is composed of various light elements called hydrocarbons. Phase contrast imaging can enhance the contrast between the hydrocarbons and the air during experiments, letting researchers see structures that cannot be observed using conventional X-ray imaging, which only displays variations in density. For example, X-rays taken at a doctor’s office show bone more clearly than the much lighter soft tissue.

Gluskin expects the new superconducting undulators will become a common tool for future light sources and free electron lasers because they outperform existing permanent magnet undulators in delivery of bright X-ray beams for a wide energy range. The HSCU in particular opens the door for the next generation of more compact and cost-saving free electron lasers.

Superconducting undulator technology is also essential for the APS Upgrade. The upgrade will equip researchers with a next-generation facility to more precisely probe atomic and molecular structure and function, extending U.S. global leadership in hard X-ray (short wavelength) science and technological research for decades to come.

“The helical superconducting undulator will allow us to try out some techniques that we want to do in the upgrade,” Lang said.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

X
X
X
  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Light-Emitting Nanoparticles Could Provide a Safer Way to Image Living Cells

A research team has demonstrated how light-emitting nanoparticles, developed at Berkeley Lab, can be used to see deep in living tissue. Researchers hope they can be made to attach to specific components of cells to serve in an advanced imaging system that can pinpoint even single cancer cells.

Demonstrated Natural Refrigerant Replacements Could Reduce Energy Costs and Conserve the Environment

The 1987 Montreal Protocol and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol called for countries around the world to phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer and cause global warming, but many HVAC systems still use synthetic refrigerants that violate those international agreements and inflict environmental damage. Recently, Iranian researchers investigated how natural refrigerants could be used in geothermal heat pumps to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. They report their findings in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

The Behavior of Water: Scientists Find New Properties of H2O

A team of scientists has uncovered new molecular properties of water--a discovery of a phenomenon that had previously gone unnoticed.

Algorithm Provides Early Warning System for Tracking Groundwater Contamination

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Savannah River National Laboratory have developed a low-cost method for real-time monitoring of pollutants using commonly available sensors.

Protons Get Zippier in Neutron-Rich Nuclei

A new study carried out at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has confirmed that increasing the number of neutrons as compared to protons in the atom's nucleus also increases the average momentum of its protons. The nuclear physics result, which has implications for the dynamics of neutron stars, has been published in the journal Nature.

Sight Unseen: Novel Method Detects Evidence of Unmarked Human Graves

A new approach to find unmarked gravesites could help narrow the scope and potentially speed up the search for clues during crime scene investigations. Geospatial researchers with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and forensic scientists at University of Tennessee used LIDAR to detect telltale signs of recently buried human remains.

UT-ORNL team makes first particle accelerator beam measurement in six dimensions

The first full characterization measurement of an accelerator beam in six dimensions will advance the understanding and performance of current and planned accelerators around the world.

For UW Physicists, the 2-D Form of Tungsten Ditelluride Is Full of Surprises

In a paper published online July 23 in Nature, a UW-led research team reports that the 2-D form of tungsten ditelluride can undergo "ferroelectric switching" -- a first for a exfoliated 2-D material. Ferroelectric materials can have applications in memory storage, capacitors, RFID card technologies and even medical sensors.

Scientists Discover How to Protect Yeast From Damage in Biofuel Production

Some chemicals used to speed up the breakdown of plants for production of biofuels like ethanol are poison to the yeasts that turn the plant sugars into fuel. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and several Department of Energy laboratories have identified two changes to a single gene that can make the yeast tolerate the pretreatment chemicals.

Lining Up the Surprising Behaviors of a Superconductor with One of the World's Strongest Magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of this material changes in an unusual way under very high magnetic fields--a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperature.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

DOE funds 13 projects under fifth round of HPC4Manufacturing Progaram

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which manages the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program to use supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing, today announced the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded nearly $3.8 million for 13 industry projects under the program.

Four Argonne transportation and fuel experts collect Dept. of Energy honors

Four researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have earned Distinguished Achievement awards for helping to reimagine transportation, sustainability and mobility.

From Hurricane Katrina Victim to Presidential Awardee: A SUNO Professor's Award-Winning Mentoring Efforts

Undergraduate students of Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) biology professor Murty Kambhampati come to Brookhaven Lab during the summer to conduct research in natural resource management.

SNS completes full neutron production cycle at record power level

The Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has reached a new milestone by operating a complete neutron production run cycle at 1.3 megawatts. Achieving the record power level with a remarkable 94 percent accelerator beam availability establishes a new baseline of operation as well as a path to operate reliably at higher powers. Increased power offers researchers the ability to conduct faster scientific analyses using neutrons on more types of materials.

Milsmann earns prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Carsten Milsmann, assistant professor in the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry at West Virginia University, has earned the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER Award for research that could help develop solar energy applications that are more efficient and cheaper to produce.

46th annual SLAC Summer Institute celebrates Standard Model at 50

The event attracted 124 participants and explores the successes and challenges of the theory that describes subatomic particles and fundamental forces.

UW, PNNL to host energy research center focusing on bio-inspired design and assembly

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded an expected $10.75 million, four-year grant to the University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other partner institutions for a new interdisciplinary research center to define the enigmatic rules governing how molecular-scale building blocks assemble into ordered structures & hierarchical materials.

Argonne among 10 recipients of competitive grant for ultrafast science

Argonne has been awarded U.S. Department of Energy funds to probe materials and chemical processes on time scales of a quadrillionth of a second or less.

One cool camera: LSST's cryostat assembly completed

Work on the camera for the future Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) has reached a major milestone with the completion and delivery of the camera's fully integrated cryostat. With 3.2 gigapixels, the LSST camera will be the largest digital camera ever built for ground-based astronomy. It's being assembled at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Risa Wechsler named director of KIPAC

Risa Wechsler has been appointed director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), a joint institute of the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. On Sept. 15, she'll take over from Tom Abel, whose five-year term at the helm of the institute is coming to an end.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Deep Learning Stretches Up to Scientific Supercomputers

Collaboration powers machine learning software that performs data analytics on petabyte-sized data sets in series of successful test runs.

Complex Networks Identify Genes for Biofuel Crops

Systems biology leads the way to exascale computing on Summit supercomputer.

Quantum Computing of an Atomic Nucleus

The first-ever computation of an atomic nucleus, the deuteron, on a quantum chip demonstrates that even today's rudimentary quantum computers can solve nuclear physics questions.

New Approach Yields High-Purity Radium for Medical Applications

Proton-irradiated thorium targets are successfully mined for therapeutic radium isotopes.

Steering Light with Dynamic Lens-on-MEMS

Scientists add active control to design capabilities for new lightweight flat optical devices.

Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens

Researchers design self-assembling nanosheets that mimic the surface of cells.

Tracking Down Helium-4's Quarks and Gluons

Scientists obtain the first exclusive measurement of deeply virtual Compton scattering of electrons off helium-4, vital to obtaining an unambiguous 3-D view of quarks and gluons within nuclei.

Predicting Magnetic Explosions: From Plasma Current Sheet Disruption to Fast Magnetic Reconnection

Supercomputer simulations and theoretical analysis shed new light on when and how fast reconnection occurs.

Is Nature Exclusively Left Handed? Using Chilled Atoms to Find Out

Elegant techniques of trapping and polarizing atoms open vistas for beta-decay tests of fundamental symmetries, key to understanding the most basic forces and particles constituting our universe.

As Future Batteries, Hybrid Supercapacitors Are Super-Charged

A new supercapacitor could be a competitive alternative to lithium-ion batteries.


Spotlight

Friday July 20, 2018, 03:00 PM

Department of Energy Invests $64 Million in Advanced Nuclear Technology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Thursday July 19, 2018, 05:00 PM

Professor Miao Yu Named the Priti and Mukesh Chatter '82 Career Development Professor

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Tuesday July 03, 2018, 11:05 AM

2018 RHIC & AGS Annual Users' Meeting: 'Illuminating the QCD Landscape'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Friday June 29, 2018, 06:05 PM

Argonne welcomes The Martian author Andy Weir

Argonne National Laboratory

Monday June 18, 2018, 09:55 AM

Creating STEM Knowledge and Innovations to Solve Global Issues Like Water, Food, and Energy

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Friday June 15, 2018, 10:00 AM

Professor Emily Liu Receives $1.8 Million DoE Award for Solar Power Systems Research

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Thursday June 07, 2018, 03:05 PM

Celebrating 40 years of empowerment in science

Argonne National Laboratory

Monday May 07, 2018, 10:30 AM

Introducing Graduate Students Across the Globe to Photon Science

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday May 02, 2018, 04:05 PM

Students from Massachusetts and Washington Win DOE's 28th National Science Bowl(r)

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Thursday April 12, 2018, 07:05 PM

The Race for Young Scientific Minds

Argonne National Laboratory

Wednesday March 14, 2018, 02:05 PM

Q&A: Al Ashley Reflects on His Efforts to Diversify SLAC and Beyond

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday February 15, 2018, 12:05 PM

Insights on Innovation in Energy, Humanitarian Aid Highlight UVA Darden's Net Impact Week

University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Friday February 09, 2018, 11:05 AM

Ivy League Graduate, Writer and Activist with Dyslexia Visits CSUCI to Reframe the Concept of Learning Disabilities

California State University, Channel Islands

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Photographer Adam Nadel Selected as Fermilab's New Artist-in-Residence for 2018

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Fermilab Computing Partners with Argonne, Local Schools for Hour of Code

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday December 20, 2017, 01:05 PM

Q&A: Sam Webb Teaches X-Ray Science from a Remote Classroom

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Monday December 18, 2017, 01:05 PM

The Future of Today's Electric Power Systems

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday December 18, 2017, 12:05 PM

Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Tuesday October 03, 2017, 01:05 PM

Stairway to Science

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

After-School Energy Rush

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 10:05 AM

Bringing Diversity Into Computational Science Through Student Outreach

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Thursday September 21, 2017, 03:05 PM

From Science to Finance: SLAC Summer Interns Forge New Paths in STEM

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday September 07, 2017, 02:05 PM

Students Discuss 'Cosmic Opportunities' at 45th Annual SLAC Summer Institute

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday August 31, 2017, 05:05 PM

Binghamton University Opens $70 Million Smart Energy Building

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Wednesday August 23, 2017, 05:05 PM

Widening Horizons for High Schoolers with Code

Argonne National Laboratory

Saturday May 20, 2017, 12:05 PM

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday May 15, 2017, 01:05 PM

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jonathan Kirzner

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Wednesday April 05, 2017, 12:05 PM

High-Schooler Solves College-Level Security Puzzle From Argonne, Sparks Interest in Career

Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jenica Jacobi

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Friday March 24, 2017, 10:40 AM

Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 04:05 PM

Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

Friday January 27, 2017, 04:00 PM

Haslam Visits ORNL to Highlight State's Role in Discovering Tennessine

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tuesday November 08, 2016, 12:05 PM

Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday May 13, 2016, 04:05 PM

More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Monday April 25, 2016, 05:05 PM

Giving Back to National Science Bowl

Ames Laboratory

Friday March 25, 2016, 12:05 PM

NMSU Undergrad Tackles 3D Particle Scattering Animations After Receiving JSA Research Assistantship

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tuesday February 02, 2016, 10:05 AM

Shannon Greco: A Self-Described "STEM Education Zealot"

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Monday November 16, 2015, 04:05 PM

Rare Earths for Life: An 85th Birthday Visit with Mr. Rare Earth

Ames Laboratory

Tuesday October 20, 2015, 01:05 PM

Meet Robert Palomino: 'Give Everything a Shot!'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Tuesday April 22, 2014, 11:30 AM

University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

University of Utah

Wednesday March 06, 2013, 03:40 PM

Student Innovator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeks Brighter, Smarter, and More Efficient LEDs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday November 16, 2012, 10:00 AM

Texas Tech Energy Commerce Students, Community Light up Tent City

Texas Tech University

Wednesday November 23, 2011, 10:45 AM

Don't Get 'Frosted' Over Heating Your Home This Winter

Temple University

Wednesday July 06, 2011, 06:00 PM

New Research Center To Tackle Critical Challenges Related to Aircraft Design, Wind Energy, Smart Buildings

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday April 22, 2011, 09:00 AM

First Polymer Solar-Thermal Device Heats Home, Saves Money

Wake Forest University





Showing results

0-4 Of 2215