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Synchrotron Science Group

The Synchrotron Science Group advances X-ray measurements of materials through NIST developed and operated beamlines at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS II). Measurements are developed to support collaborative projects across NIST and the NSLS II user community. The group advances this mission through a decades long strategic partnership with the Department of Energy and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Central to the multi-decade NIST BNL strategic partnership in synchrotron technology, the Synchrotron Science Group develops state of-the-art synchrotron X-ray measurement technology around a core-competency in X-ray absorbance spectroscopy. The SSG develops instrumentation, methods, and analytical tools, to enable measurements of structure not attainable by other methods. Stationed at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the group provides timely access to X-ray facilities to support both NIST priority programs as well as the broader scientific community through the NSLS-II General User Program. Working closely with other units across NIST, new advances in instrumentation are connected to a broad range of NIST stakeholders. Primary examples are the development of the Resonant Soft X-ray Scattering instrument in close collaboration with the Materials Science and Engineering Division and the development of microcalorimeter detector technologies with the NIST Quantum Sensing Division. Outside partnerships have also been key to the technology transfer strategy, with a co-developed and operated end station in X-ray Diffraction with IBM, and imaging capabilities developed through two Small Business Innovation and Research Awards. Additional collaborations with industry such as Dow Chemical and SEMATECH are complemented with ongoing development with other agencies such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory. The group has been a world leader in the development of adsorbtion spectroscopy software, with world-wide adoption and high demand for online courses and workshops. The group features three main thrusts that all build on the core competency in absorbance spectrometry: adsorbance spectrometers, hyperspectral imaging, and resonant scattering and diffraction.

News and Updates

Projects and Programs

Synchrotron X-ray Spectroscopic Imaging

The Spectroscopic Imaging project develops hyperspectral imaging capabilities the probe the chemical, electronic, and physical structure in advanced materials.


Non-Resonant Valence-to-Core X-ray Emission Spectroscopy of Niobium

Bruce D. Ravel, A. J. Kropf, Dali Yang, Mengen Wang, Mehmet Topsokal, Deyu Lu, M. C. Stennett, N. C. Hyatt
The valence-to-core (V2C) portion of X-ray Emission Spectroscopy (XES) measures the electron 15 states close to the Fermi level. These states are involved in

Local structural distortions in strained BaSrTiO3 thin films

Joseph C. Woicik, Eric L. Shirley, Keith Gilmore, K E. Andersen, C S. Hellberg
The local atomic structures in Ba0.5Sr0.5TiO3 thin films grown on MgO(001) substrates have been determined by density functional theory calculations and Ti K

Abiotic bromination of soil organic matter

Bruce D. Ravel, Alessandra C. Leri
Biogeochemical transformations of plant-derived soil organic matter (SOM) involve complex abiotic and microbially mediated reactions. One such reaction is

Tools and Instruments

X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS)

The XAFS station uses a tunable, monochromatic, and moderately high energy X-ray beam (4.5 keV to 23.5 keV) for X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements. The

Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

The X-ray diffraction (XRD) end station measures constructive interference of the x-ray wave with repeating atomic and interfacial structure in materials. At


Group Leader