Active LDRD Projects

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FY22 Important Dates

  • FY23 call for proposals
    May 11, 2022
  • FY23 proposals due
    June 7, 2022
  • FY23 proposal presentations
    July 12-13, 2022

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Elise Poirier

Strategic Planning Lead

New LDRD Projects for FY22

Tailored Laser Pulse Sequences for Advanced Control of Quantum Materials at LCLS

Lead Scientist: Giacomo Coslovich

The objectives of this research are to: realize an experimental setup capable of performing multi-pump pulse experiments using the laser systems available at LCLS; demonstrate such capability on a high temperature superconductor by maintaining a photo-quenched and a photo- enhanced superconducting state in the laser lab; perform such experiment using an X-ray probe at LCLS revealing the full dynamics of the intertwined charge density waves order under such metastable conditions; use such experimental scheme to excite and amplify novel coherent modes.

Reaction Kinetics from Sub Millisecond to Seconds

Lead Scientist: Daniel DePonte

This LDRD effort focuses on mixing characterization and application to chemical reactions with a dual-path approach to hardware development. The project addresses the development and extension of two mixing mechanisms for complementary timescales, and study of the reaction intermediates: colliding droplets and free-jet hydrodynamic focusing mixer. These methods are complementary and allow for a large range of experimental methods and accessible timescales where the overlap in timescales provides additional conformation.

Mechanistic Studies of Excited State Proton Coupled Electron Transfer Reactions Using Ultrafast X-ray Spectroscopy and Quantum Dynamics Simulations

Lead Scientist: Kelly Gaffney

This project investigates heterocyclic carbon nitrides to enable a deeper mechanistic understanding of excited state Proton Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET) and Hydrogen Atom Transfer (HAT) reactions. This deeper understanding will be achieved with a joint theory-experiment effort using ultrafast soft X-ray spectroscopy and ab initio quantum dynamics studies of electronic excited state dynamics in solvated azabenzenes (nitrogen containing aromatic molecules) and functionalized heptazine monomers. These chemical systems have been selected because they span from what is experimentally and theoretically accessible today to more experimentally demanding and scientifically significant work that will require the high repetition rate capabilities of LCLS-II that will become operative towards the end of this LDRD project.

Performance Optimization for Human-in-the-Loop Complex Control Systems

Lead Scientist: Wan-Lin Hu

The focus of this project lies in investigating, modeling, and improving supervisory control in the SSRL control room. The work addresses the following challenges in training protocol designs for complex control systems: the need for quantitative evaluation of training and the need for computational models of human control behaviors. Deriving these models and determining how to incorporate human behavior models into the formal methodology of feedback control are necessary steps to put the human-in-the-loop control on a solid foundation in complex system design. Project work is to study and model fundamental characteristics of the human behavior that impact operation performance, like learning, decision-making, and adaptability processes and use those models to identify and characterize expertise in the control room.

Following Sulfur Chemistry in Biological Systems

Lead Scientist: Mark HunterRoberto Alonso-Mori

The main objective of this LDRD is to expand upon the current X-ray spectroscopy capabilities at SLAC to study biological systems using two important sulfur-containing enzymes. The project will utilize a novel X-ray spectroscopy endstation optimized for the tender X-ray regime currently under development at LCLS to enable multimodal imaging of the ground and excited states of sulfur-dependent enzymes and other light elements both at LCLS and SSRL. The project will show that time-resolved sulfur X-ray emission spectroscopy (S-XES) can be combined with X-ray crystallography or Small/Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (S/WAXS) for a multimodal experimental approach that can be combined with quantum mechanical/molecular mechanics calculations to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex and vital role that sulfur plays in the chemistry of life.

Microscopic Characterization of Quantum Material Membranes Under Tunable Strain

Lead Scientist: Wei-Sheng Lee

This project initiates efforts to develop experiments for strained two-dimension (2D) quantum materials with ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) and light scattering probes, including Raman, and X-ray scattering. Building on demonstration of high-quality scattering data obtained in membrane geometries for fixed strain, this work develops a strain platform that can be dynamically tuned in-situ for these probes in transmission and/or reflection geometry. With these developments, the microscopic behavior of the underlying degrees of freedom in strained membranes will be investigated.

An SRF Cavity for Dark Matter Axion Detection

Lead Scientist: Zenghai Li

This research and development undertaking will realize the capabilities and precise control of a radio frequency (RF) cavity needed to conduct a powerful new axion dark matter search. The concept is to detect axion induced transitions between appropriate loaded and unloaded resonant modes of an RF cavity, where the frequency splitting of the mode, not the mode frequency itself, corresponds to the axion's natural frequency (mass). By decoupling the detector resonant frequency from the axion's natural frequency, this approach is unique for enabling the exploration of 15 orders of magnitude in axion and axion-like particle mass based on a single, well-established technology.

Talbot Coherent Diffractive Imaging for In Situ Visualization of Dynamic Structure Changes

Lead Scientist: Yanwei Liu

This project develops Talbot Coherent Diffractive Imaging (TCDI), a new X-ray imaging technique that provides single-shot compatible quantitative phase imaging with a large field-of- view and high spatial resolution. The objective is to develop TCDI to be able to image both weak and strongly scattering samples with large field of view and high spatial resolution. This development will take place alongside scientific experiments at LCLS and SSRL to help ensure that the imaging method is systematically optimized to address important scientific problems. 

Learning Atomic Scale Biomolecular Dynamics from Single-Particle Imaging Data

Lead Scientist: Frederic PoitevinYoussef Nashed

This project pursues the development of machine learning (ML) algorithms that leverage the ability of SLAC’s X-ray and cryogenic electron microscope (cryoEM) facilities to image individual particles and reveal the conformational landscapes of proteins, extending the understanding of protein machines as dynamic, continuously changing structures at the atomic scale. The approach is to build an ML framework that simultaneously learns individual particle orientations and conformations in an atomic model. Crucially, and in contrast to a purely data driven approach, the ML pipeline will make use of the simulators to link experimental observations to physically plausible atomic models. This approach would be the first that directly solves an atomic model from experimental data without resorting to intermediate maps.

SPARKPIX-S: A Detector for MHz XPCS Experiments

Lead Scientist: Lorenzo Rota

The goal of this proposal is to design, fabricate and characterize a small area prototype of an X- ray camera tailored to the needs of X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS) experiments capable of operation at 1 megahertz (MHz). This development is a key building block whose successful implementation will provide the basis and a risk mitigation for the development of large area cameras capable of matching the full rate of the LCLS-II, but also applicable to XPCS experiments at storage rings; currently, there are no existing direct detection mega-frame per seconds X-ray pixel cameras. The clear scientific return that a MHz free electron laser could provide will be dramatically reduced without cameras matching its repetition rate.

Fusion Methods in the Continuum Between Physics and Machine Learning Models in Renewable Energy Systems

Lead Scientist: Alex Stankovic

This project advances multi-pronged research with tools from the fields of energy engineering, machine learning (ML), controls, and dynamical systems. Its key component is in blending certifiably identifiable physics-derived models with physics-informed ML procedures. Given that neither an ML-only nor physics-only approach can be considered sufficient for modeling future electric energy systems (EES), this work seeks to develop hybrid physics-ML models by quantifying four model fusion methods that build on their complementary strengths: sparse symbolic regression with data-driven dictionaries extracted via manifold learning; physics- and data-informed transformations followed by neural network (NN) model extraction and calibration; customized NN architectures that encode key EES invariances; analysis and customization of the deep anatomy of physics-informed NN.

Development of Light Detection Systems for MeV-scale Particle Measurements in Future Pixelated, Modularized Liquid-Argon Time-Projection Chambers

Lead Scientist: Yun-Tse Tsai

This project pursues a candidate design of light collection systems for both the liquid-argon time-projection chambers (LArTPC) detectors measuring neutrino-argon cross sections in the Mega electron-volt (MeV) regime on ground and the ones detecting MeV gamma rays in space. Aiming to achieve a several percent of photon detection efficiency, this work focuses on developing a design hosting the light sensors, silicon-photomultipliers (SiPMs), on the cathode side of a LArTPC module, combined with and a reflective, wavelength-shifting field cage system. The reflection gives scintillation light that would have otherwise been absorbed by the field cage walls additional chances to reach the photodetectors. The small size of the module lessens the impact of attenuation due to the longer path of the reflected light.

All Active Projects for FY22

Lead Investigator Project Title
Carbajo, Sergio Next Generation Photoinjectors for High Brightness Beams and XFELs
Cohen, Aina Utilizing Sparse Diffraction with Expand-Maximize-Compress Algorithm in Online Data Processing
Coslovich, Giacomo Tailored Laser Pulse Sequences for Advanced Control of Quantum Materials at LCLS
Dakovski, Georgi Development of a Resonant Inelastic Soft X-ray Scattering Polarimeter for LCLS-II
DePonte, Daniel Reaction Kinetics from Sub Milliseconds to Seconds
Fiuza, Frederico Accelerating the Development of 3D Predictive Modeling for the MEC PW Upgrade
Frisch, Josef Development of a 21cm Radio Array Calibration System
Gaffney, Kelly Mechanistic Studies of Excited State Proton Coupled Electron Transfer Reactions Using Ultrafast X-ray Spectroscopy and Quantum Dynamics Simulations
Goldhaber-Gordon, David Q-BALMS: Batch Assembly of Layered Materials Stacks for QIS
Henderson, Shawn Lumped Element Resonators for Microwave SQUID Multiplexing
Herbst, Ryan Edge ML for Acquisition and Analysis of Data Generated by Ultra High Rate Detectors
Hu, Wan-Lin Performance Optimization for Human-in-the-Loop Complex Control Systems
Hunter, Mark & Alonso-Mori, Roberto Following Sulfur Chemistry in Biological Systems
Koralek, Jake Nanosacle Liquid Heterostructures & Ultrafast Mixing
Lee, Wei-Sheng Microscopic Characterization of Quantum Material Membranes Under Tunable Strain
Li, Zenghai An SRF Cavity for Dark Matter Axion Detection
Liang, Mengning Reversible Bond Dynamics and Polymer Network Rearrangement in Strained Dynamic Polymer Networks
Liu, Yanwei Talbot Coherent Diffractive Imaging for In Situ Visualization of Dynamic Structure Changes
Liu, Yijin Nano-Resolution X-ray Speckle Ghost Imaging
Marinelli, Agostino PAX: Plasma-based Attosecond X-ray Pulses
Marinelli, Agostino Strong-Field Studies Using Relativistic Electron Beams
Mo, Mianzhen Ultrafast Electron Diffraction Studies of Radiation Damaged Materials
Nanni, Emilio Superconducting Photon Transducers via Millimeter-Wave Quantum Channels
Poitevin, FredericNashed, Youssef Learning Atomic Scale Biomolecular Dynamcs from Single-Particle Imaging Data
Rota, Lorenzo SPARKPIX-S: A Detector for MHz XPCS Experiments
Schwartzman, Ariel Large-scale Atom Interferometry for Ultra-Light Dark Matter and Gravitational Wave Detection
Shutt, Tom R&D Towards Next Generation Dark Matter and Double Beta Decay Experiments
Snively, Emma High Gradient mm-wave Linac for Very High Energy Electron Therapy
Sokaras, Dimosthenis Accelerating the Development of Scalable Photocatalysts with Operando X-ray Spectroscopy
Stankovic, Alex Fusion Methods in the Continuum Between Physics and Machine Learning Models in Renewable Energy Systems
Tarpeh, William Developing In Situ Techniques to Understand Mechanisms of Bubble Formation at Aqueous Electrochemical Interfaces 
Tassone, Christopher Energy Driven Control of Crystallization and Alloying Pathways
Tsai, Yun-Tse Development of Ligh Detection Systems for MeV-scale Particle Measurements in Future Pixelated, Modularized Liquid-Argon Time-Projection Chambers
Zhu, Diling Development of a New Optomechanical System Architecture for Nanometer and Nanoradian Scale X-ray Beam Manipulation