February 17, 2018 marked the culmination of ten years of planning and construction for NIST’s NSLS-II Spectroscopy Beamline Suite, with first light at the Soft and Tender Beamlines. This first light marks the start of the transition of NIST’s NSLS-II Beamline Suite from construction to operations with commissioning and full operations expected by early 2019. The suite is composed of nine end stations fed by three state-of-the-art high throughput beamlines with hard, soft, and tender beamline energy ranges. While NSLS-II features high brilliance in all three regimes, the NIST team has pioneered the optical configuration to direct soft and/or tender beams into the same end station. This ability allows NIST to survey a material or device with arbitrary elemental composition. Supported by a highly brilliant source, NIST will have an opportunity to innovate in fields where in situ measurements are key such as in catalysis, electronic devices, and polymer processing. The beamlines feed into the nine end stations, where future innovation can be driven. As an example, the new resonant scattering end station being developed by NIST's Polymers Processing Group in Gaithersburg, will serve customers working in organic electronics, additive manufacturing, and structural materials. Demonstrating NIST's continued impact in the semiconductor industry, IBM has co-located a staff member at the NIST beamline suite to develop and operate a hard X-ray diffraction end station. Following commissioning, NIST staff will be able to access these resources to support materials research, standards, and measurement development through an internal proposal process.
NIST’s NSLS-II Spectroscopy Beamline Suite transition from construction is also the culmination of a Department of Energy (DOE) 35+ year partnership with the National Synchrotron Light Source (now NSLS-II) developing beamlines, advanced synchrotron measurement methods, and delivering excellence in materials science. Among its many achievements, the partnership has leveraged NIST expertise to advance X-ray emission detector technology, worked closely with SEMATECH to support semiconductor technology development, provided data that fostered the emerging field of organic electronics and photovoltaics, and played a leading role in the development of soft X-ray probes of materials. To further elevate the impact of this partnership, NIST has consistently engaged industrial and other agency customers to identify measurement needs and deliver technology. Long term collaborations include SEMATECH, Sandia National Laboratory, IBM, Dow Chemical, and many others. The development of two measurement techniques led to long term collaborations with two small businesses (through the NIST SBIR program) devoted to commercialization and technical support of Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Spectroscopy (NEXAFS) Microscopy and Vector Potential Photoemission Microscopy (VPPEM).