From the Directors
Dear Colleagues,

Here at CHESS, the current experimental run period ends on November 23rd. Scheduled maintenance will go until January 20th, when user operations resume. During the current run, all of our beamlines successfully supported users in remote, mail-in, and “joint-venture” modes. CHESS staff have been working remotely or, if on site, practicing strict social distancing protocols and other measures to ensure safe execution of the experiments. Three recent science highlights from the MSN-C and CHEXS beamlines are included in this newsletter below. During the upcoming January to March 2021 experimental run, we will continue operating in the same remote access modes to comply with university policy that visiting researchers are not allowed on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. The response by our user community to the latest call for proposals was again excellent and users with active proposals have until Nov. 18th to submit a BTR.

Many of you have seen the recent announcement of the NSF Midscale Research Infrastructure (Ms-RI-2) award to CHESS. The project is a collaboration between CHESS, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). The $32.6M award will support the construction of a high-energy X-ray beamline equipped with a high field magnet providing unique capabilities for the large, multidisciplinary user communities of two NSF-funded facilities – CHESS and the MagLab. Moreover, the project will engage early career researchers in design and implementation of cutting-edge instrumentation, with particular focus on training students from the University of Puerto Rico to become future leaders in X-ray science and technology. We are proud and honored to receive one of only three Ms-RI-2 awards from the inaugural competition of the new NSF Mid-scale Research Infrastructure initiative.

To identify opportunities for new experimental facilities and research centers at CHESS, we are starting a strategic planning process that we call CHESS 2030. Soliciting input from the scientific community we want to pinpoint important scientific questions that can ideally be addressed at CHESS by 2030 and beyond. To start, we are planning a series of virtual workshops for spring 2021, reaching out to our community for their input and most exciting and creative ideas for research at CHESS. We will provide more information about the planning process and the workshops through this newsletter and the CHESS web site in the near future.

Stay healthy and stay safe,
Joel Brock, Director, CHESS
Elke Arenholz, Associate Director, CHESS
The National Science Foundation has awarded CHESS $32.6 million to build a High Magnetic Field (HMF) beamline, which will allow researchers to conduct precision X-ray studies of materials in persistent magnetic fields that exceed those available at any other synchrotron.
Congratulations to Jacob Ruff, New Director of CHEXS
Jacob Ruff has been named the new director of the Center for High-Energy X-ray Sciences at CHESS. In his new role, Jacob will lead research at the five beamlines of CHEXS while supporting education and training, particularly of researchers in biological sciences, engineering, and materials research.
Diversity and Inclusion
Sharing diverse perspectives in a welcoming and supportive environment is important to enable new scientific discoveries and approaches.
We work closely with our funding partners and Cornell University to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone at CHESS.
Validation of Welding Model for Digital Twin of Thick-Plate Joint: Mapping Residual Strains in HSLA Steel using High Energy X-rays
The US Navy is seeking to establish digital twin prototypes across the Fleet, which will require material processing data (residual stress and distortion) included in the input model to increase accuracy of the lifecycle analysis. This work will establish the evolution of residual stress across numerous steps throughout the fabrication process: incoming plate, post-machining, and post-welded assembly.
In-situ high energy X-ray diffraction probes elastic response of metastable engineered alloys
Recent research at CHESS provides a framework by which the single crystal elastic constants of complex alloys can be determined experimentally in a straightforward manner.
Breakdown of the Small-Polaron Hopping Model in Higher-Order Spinels
The authors present an updated “small-polaron hopping model” to include contributions of decoupled pathways for the flow of electrons in spinel oxides. Their work provides a route for custom-tailoring the properties of oxides used in technologies such as fuel cells, batteries, and solar cells.
Darren Pagan awarded AFRL grant
Former CHESS Staff Scientist Darren Pagan has been awarded a Young Investigator Research Program grant through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).
Issue No. 77 2020.11.16