Friday, May 13, 2011

Beamline 4-3 and the start of my grad research

This weekend I am officially getting started on collecting data which I may use for my graduate research.  I'm sitting on beamline 4-3 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL).  Behind me a synchrotron particle accelerator is producing a constant 3 billion electron volts of energy.  Beamline 4-3 is good for doing x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) on samples containing elements like sulfur and chlorine.

I'm here to do x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy and maybe even some extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy on sulfur-containing compounds from the lab (such as lab sulfur, sodium nitrite, sodium tetrathionate, iron sulfide, etc) and from samples taken from our research site in the high arctic by some of my soon to be colleagues.  It's so exciting to be here and to be running samples of my own for the first time.  The last three times I was here were an adventure, but this is the first time I get to be on my own with my own beamline and my own samples.  So awesome.  I would write more, but I'm too darned busy with all there is to do.  Expect lots more info about this research in coming months and years :)  

This is the interior of the hutch at BL 4-3 at SSRL.