Synchrotron and X-ray free electron laser facilities: Big collaborative science in the diffraction limit scale
Synchrotron facilities are major workhorses in interdisciplinary research with synchrotron X-rays now being used in the study of proteins, drug development, batteries, catalytic materials, radioactive materials among others. These multi-disciplinary, multi-experiment facilities host several beamlines (from ~14 to ~50) that can address specific scientific questions from elemental analysis to magnetic phases. Depending on the energy/resolution requirement, flexibility of the end station or accessibility, "Users" can shop which synchrotron facility they will submit a beamtime proposal. There are more than 50 synchrotron facilities in the world today and in Southeast Asia there are three facilities open to the public: the Thailand Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI), the Taiwan Light Source (TLS), and the Taiwan Photon Source (TPS). The Taiwan Photon Source is considered to be a 4th generation synchrotron source with its low-emittance storage ring (Horizontal: 1.6 nm rad; Vertical: 16 pm rad) producing higher photon beam brightness and diffraction-limited light at shorter wavelengths.
Aside from synchrotron facilities, several X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) facilities have opened while some are still being built. XFELs generate high intensity coherent photon pulses at wavelengths from nanometers to less than one angstrom and a duration of a few to 100 femtoseconds. XFELs allow the study of the structure and dynamics of atomic and molecular systems at the angstrom-femtosecond space and time scale, creating new opportunities for scientific research in physics, chemistry, biology, material science and high energy density physics. In Asia, Japan's SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser (SACLA) XFEL has been in operation since 2011 while the Pohang Accelerator XFEL in Korea is under construction.
In this talk, a review of these developments will be discussed along with a brief summary of my current research work involving micro-probe synchrotron X-ray techniques.