Laboratory Directed Research & Development

New Projects for FY15

Fiscal Year 2015 LDRD Projects at SLAC
Ultrafast Surface Chemical Transformation at the X-ray Laser LCLS

Lead Scientist: Frank Abild-Pedersen

Most conversion processes are performed via chemical reaction on a catalyst surface. The transition kinetics is greatly influenced by the dynamic motion of the molecules and the energy exchange process when the reaction is taking place. The present proposal aims at developing a methodology that can identify important signatures in energy transfer processes during a reaction, which in turn could provide ways to control chemical reactivity and selectivity.
Real Time Control of Subsurface Fractures and Fluid Flow

Lead Scientist: Gordon Brown / John Barger

We propose a strategic project to develop X-ray nano- and micro- CT capabilities and experimental expertise, and to organize a collaborative SLAC/Stanford team that will better position SLAC to compete for research funding in a forthcoming DOE Subsurface Science Initiative. Our project will elucidate fundamental processes controlling environmentally safe extraction of oil and natural gas from nanoporous rocks and processes for selectively seal rock fractures to prevent escape of CO2 , methane, and high-level nuclear waste from geological reservoirs/repositories.
Compact High Power THz Source

Lead Scientist: Mike Fazio

This proposal seeks to perform the basic science and technology R&D that will lead to breakthrough RF source technology in the Terahertz (THz) spectrum leading to compact 1 kW average power and 100 kW peak power THz amplifier sources within 5 years that are many orders of magnitude beyond current capabilities

Modeling Acceleration in Laser Driven Shocks

Lead Scientist: Frederico Fuiza

We propose to study the physics of collisionless shocks through first principles simulations and laboratory experiments in order to understand how the plasma conditions affect the shock structure, to identify optimal conditions for shock acceleration of particles, and to demonstrate the controlled generation of highenergy
ion beams. The accomplishment of this project will provide a fundamental understanding of the physics of shocks and cosmic ray acceleration in astrophysical plasmas and potentially bring a World-leading compact ion source to SLAC that sets a fast pace in development of application with high societal impact.

Monolithic Area Detector for Soft X-Rays and Charged Particles

Lead Scientist: Chris Kenney

Monolithic CMOS sensors have revolutionized the detection of visible light throughout society and have become one of the most ubiquitous items of consumer technology. Their adaptation to soft x-rays, energetic electrons, , and high-energy charged particles will have a significant impact on most of SLAC’s experimental science programs in the SSRL, LCLS, Photon, and PPA directorates. Since the last LDRD cycle, this technology has become dramatically more relevant to SLAC’s future. The new LCLS II design switches the emphasis to lower energy x-rays, which is where CMOS sensors shine.

Ultrafast 11eVSource for Time-Resolved Photoemission

Lead Scientist: Patrick Kirchmann

It is proposed to develop a novel VUV light source for time and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy to study femtosecond electron dynamics in strongly correlated electron materials. This source will operate at 11eV photon energy and thus grant access to the complete Fermi surface with high time and energy resolution, which can be adapted to specific material science questions.

New Initiative for Pioneering Research in Biology, Chemistry, and Material Science with State-of-the Art Soft X-ray Spectroscopy

Lead Scientist: Dennis Norlund

Superconducting transition edge sensor (TES) technology presents a unique opportunity to build novel detectors with greatly increased sensitivity in the soft x-ray regime while maintaining excellant energy resolution. We propose to combine the development of a new generation TES spectrometer with a scientific investigation of the local electronic structure of ultra-low concentration sites in biology, chemistry, and materials, while simultaneously providing a powerful R and D test bed for new cryogenic detector technologies with demonstrated transformative prospects in x-ray science.

Development of Nano Ultrafast Electron Diffraction at SLAC

Lead Scientist: Alexander Reid

SLAC recently started an initiative to set up ultrafast electron diffraction and microscopy (UED) as a complementary tool to LCLS [Durr 2014]; this LDRD aims at developing UED for microscopy experiments (nanoscale ultrafast electron diffraction a.k.a. nano microscopy, accelerator technology and electron microscopy. The goal is to demonstrate nano UED by addressing a long standing controversry in ultrafast magnetism: How is angular momentum transferred to the lattice on the femtosecond timescale?

Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Perovskite Films Solar Absorbers: What is the role of defect?

Lead Scientist: Michael Toney

The joint NREL-SLAC proposal addresses thenew hybrid organic-inorganic metal halide perovskites photovoltaics (PV). The goal of the proposal is to obtain a detailed, fundamental understanding of the relationship between film defects/structure and PV function, which will help drive the perovskite performance towards the thermodynamic limit and will position SLAC and NREL for future joint funding proposals in this exciting new area. 

LUX/LZ Dark Matter Search

Lead Scientist: Dan Akerib/Tom Shutt

The initiative seeks to establish KIPAC as a premier institute for the study of cosmic inflation. The funding will primarily be used to establish a large-scale CMB (cosmic microwave background) detector progam at SLAC, targeting the primordial gravitational waves (tensor modes) generated during inflation. The science potential in universally recognized and well documented in many national and local prioritization committees. Timely implementation of this program will place the lab in a strong strategic potions to lead the development of the reciever camera(s) of the Stage-IV CMB polarization experiment (total cost $50M-$100M) jointly supported by DOE, NSF, and private funding. In addition, the initiative will foster dialogues between theroists, observers, and experimentalists to investigate novel probes of inflation.

Cross-Platform Multiple Length Scale Imaging System for Energy Storage Materials

Lead Scientist: Johanna Weker

This project proposes the initiation of a new enabling capability within SLAC, where we will develop and execute a cross-platform, multiple length scale imaging approach to study advanced energy storage systems. We will develop the capability to sub-5nm resolution in situ X-ray imaging and a cross-platform in sutu methodology that will seamlessly link in situ and ex situ electron microscopy capabilities at Stanford University with the current and future in situ X-ray imaging capabilities at SSRL.

Beyond the Current Limitations of Water Splitting Catalysts

Lead Scientist: Aleksandra Volvodic

The aim of this LDRD is to systematically investigate new catalytic active sites for water splitting in bulk transition metal oxides, at their surfaces, and at interfaces between the oxide and support. We expect to develop an understanding of how to design 3D active sites in a controlled way to overcome the limitations imposed by the energy scaling relations. This LDRD has the potential to give us an initial starting-point to bridge the gap between heterogeneous and homogenous catalysis.

Structural Characterization of electrolyte and Polymer Gated Electronics to Better Control Device Properties

Lead Scientist: David Goldhaber-Gordon

Electrical control of materials with strong electronic correlations or exotic electronic structure is key to making next-generation devices based on their rich physics.
In the past several years, both electrolyte and polymer based gating have emerged as powerful and flexible techniques for achieving the largest carrier densities in these materials. Characterizing the structure of the interface between the channel and these unconventional gate dielectrics is critical to understanding the gating effects. In this project, we are elucidating the structure of the gating medium and channel in situ, which will guide improvements in device properties and function.

Integrating Testing and Characterization with Theory for Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2

Lead Scientist: Felix Studt

This project aims at developing new capabilities within SUNCAT and SLAC to integrate synthesis, testing, and characterization with theory, aiding in the development of next generation catalysts for energy transformations. In particular, in situ and operando characterization at SSRL will provide the capability to observe changes in our catalyst at various time and length scales and elucidate how these features guide catalyst performance.  CO2 hydrogenation to methanol, catalyzed by novel Ni-Ga catalysts (developed by SUNCAT scientists), will serve as the focus for this study.

Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Perovskite Films Solar Absorbers: What is the Role of Defect?

Lead Scientist: Michael Toney

This LDRD will allow SLAC and NREL to jointly investigate the processing, crystallization dynamics and morphology of lead halide perovskite photovoltaic thin films using solution and thin film x-ray scattering. Lead halide perovskite thin films are of interest because of their use as the photoactive layer in high efficiency (~20%), solution-processed photovoltaic devices. Despite their high photovoltaic efficiency, there is a poor mechanistic understanding of how lead halide perovskites form from their inorganic and organic precursors. This work will further the understanding of how processing (precursor solution formulation, deposition protocol, annealing times/temps, etc.) affect perovskite crystallization dynamics and in turn how these affect final film morphology (crystallite size/shape, amorphous content, point defects, etc.).

Experimental Demonstrations of Gas Phase Ultrafast Electron Diffraction

Lead Scientist: Xijie Wang

The funding from this LDRD will support the proof-of-principle experiments of the gas phase ultrafast chemical science enabled by ASTA UED. The MeV UED@ASTA offers unique opportunity for gas phase ultrafast chemical science experiments. The higher electron beam energy leads to better temporal resolution and elimination of the velocity mis-match between the pump laser and electron beam probe. Ultrafast electron diffraction in small molecules provides a new opportunity to exclusively distinguish the nuclear rearrangements upon photo-excitation. MeV electrons show negligible interaction with valence electrons. The relativistic electrons travel through the scattering medium with about the same speed as the optical excitation pulse, which improves the time resolution compared to keV electron scattering experiments.

Active Projects for FY15

Lead Investigator                     Title    

Abild-Pedersen, Frank

Ultrafast Surface Chemical Transformation at the X-ray Laser LCLS

Akerib, Dan

LUX/LZ Dark Matter Search

Bostedt, Christoph

Spatial and Time Resolving Pixel Detector-Tixel

Bargar, John

Real-time Control of Subsurface Fractures and Fluid Flow

Carini, Gabriella

cPix2: Multi-gate detector for MHz Repetition Rate Pump-probe Experiments

Chueh, William

Understanding Electrochemically-Active Oxide Surfaces Far From Equilibrium at Elevated Temperatures

Cohen, Aina

Chemistry in Motion: New Approaches to Probe Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms in Crystallo

Fazio, Mike

Compact High Power Terahertz Source

Fiuza, Frederico

Modeling Acceleration in Laser-Driven Shocks

Glenzer, Siegfried

Center for Laboratory Astrophysics

Hikita, Yasayuki

Interfacial Photo Electrochemistry Using Oxide Heterostrures

Kenney, Chris

Monolithic Area Detector for Soft X-rays and Charged Particles

Kirchmann, Patrick

Ultrafast 11ev Source for Time-Resolved Photoemission

Kuo, Chao-Lin

KIPAC Initiative on Cosmic Inflation

Lee, Wei-Sheng

Exploring the Scientific Capability of Momentum-Resolved Resonant Inelastic Soft X-ray Scattering for Material Science Research

Moore, Robert

Low Dimensional Quantum Materials for Energy Applications

Nordlund, Dennis

New Initiative for Pioneering Research in Biology, Chemistry, and Materials Science with State-of-the-Art Soft  X-ray Spectroscopy

Raghu, Srinivas

Non-Fermi Liquid Metals

Reid, Alexander

Development of Nano-Ultrafast Electron Diffraction at SLAC

Reis, David

Prototype for Microjoule Class Femtosecond Xuv Source

Toney, Michael

Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Perovskite Films Solar Absorbers:  What is the role of defect?

Wakatsuki, Soichi

Poly Ubiquitin Structural Biology

Weker, Johanna

Cross-Platform Multiple Length Scale Imaging System for Energy Storage Materials

Vojvodic, Aleksandra

Beyond the Current Limitations of Water Splitting Cataysts

Goldhaber-Gordon, David

Structural Characterization of Electrolyte and Polymer Gated Electronics to Better Control Device Properties

Studt, Felix

CO2 To Mech Conversion

Toney, Michael

Battery Electrode/Electrolyte Studies

Wang, Xijie

Experimental Demonstrations of Gas Phase Ultrafast Electron Diffraction


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