Welcome to the X-Ray Microdiffraction facility at the Advanced Light Source!

BL 12.3.2. is a superconducting magnet X-ray microdiffraction (or micro X-ray diffraction) beamline facility at the Advanced Light Source of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

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Beamline News:

The Ancient Roman Secret to Concrete Resilience in SeawaterJuly 24, 2017: ALS Science Brief: The Ancient Roman Secret to Concrete Resilience in Seawater.

New Studies of Ancient Concrete Could Teach Us to Do as the Romans DidJuly 3, 2017: LBNL News Center: New Studies of Ancient Concrete Could Teach Us to Do as the Romans Did.

Strain Turns Tin into a 3D Topological Dirac SemimetalMay 11, 2017: ALS Science Highlight: Strain Turns Tin into a 3D Topological Dirac Semimetal.

New Insights into Nanoscale DeformationApril 20, 2017: ALS Science Brief: New Insights into Nanoscale Deformation.

Ancient Ocean Temperatures Recorded in Mother-of-PearlMarch 27, 2017: ALS Science Brief: Ancient Ocean Temperatures Recorded in Mother-of-Pearl.

X-Rays Help Evaluate Quality of 3D-Printed RepairsDecember 9, 2016: ALS Science Brief: X-Rays Help Evaluate Quality of 3D-Printed Repairs.
Scientists Find Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal SlicesSeptember 23, 2016: LBNL News Center: Scientists Find Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal Slices.

Improving Alloy Memory by Tuning Material CompositionAugust 10, 2016: ALS Science Brief: Improving Alloy Memory by Tuning Material Composition.

May 23, 2016: Characterization of highly reversible phase transformation is the Featured Article and front cover of this week issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Conduction Along Magnetic Interfaces could Improve Memory DevicesFebruary 4, 2016: New ALS Science Brief: Conduction Along Magnetic Interfaces Could Improve Memory Devices. Read the story here.

March 19, 2015: Beamline highlight in ALS Science brief: evolution of Roman Ceramics reflects change in technology. Read the story here.

March 9, 2015: Beamline highlight on LBL Today and Phys.org. A new level of earthquake understanding. Read the story here and here.

December 18, 2014: new cooling stage capable of generating stable temperature gradient adds new capability to beamline for phase transformation studies. 

(Stabilized austenite-martensite interface map)

December 17, 2014: Beamline highlight on ifls: roman concrete insight could help build a safer world. Read the story here.

Modern replica of a Tenmoku tea bowl (top) with “oil spot” surface patterns. Close-up of the oil spot pattern from an ancient Jian ware provided by the musum of Jian province (bottom). Photo courtesy of Weidong Li and Zhi Liu.May 13, 2014: Beamline highlight on Sci_News: rare iron oxide found in ancient chinese pottery. Read the story here. Also in here.

January 22, 2014: Beamline highlight on Phys.org: mapping strain and crack propagation in metal tubing. Read the story here.

Concrete Industry Benefits from Ancient Romans and the ALSOctober 17, 2013: Beamline highlight: Concrete Industry benefits from Ancient Romans. Read the story here.

Learning from Roman Seawater ConcreteSeptember 25, 2013: ALS Science Highlight: Learning from Roman Seawater Concrete.

July 25, 2013: Beamline highlight: ALS Gives Chevron Scientists New Insights into Corrosion Resistance. Read the story here.

July 24, 2013: The new phase mapping capability has now been implemented in XMAS... Test case on a three phases sample. Top left: resulting phase distribution map (red: quartz, green: pyrite, blue:chalcopyrite), top right: orientation map. Image: fluorescence maps of iron and copper for sanity check... (courtesy: Andrea Gerson)

June 21, 2013: Beamline highlight: Enabling Thin Silicon Solar Cell Technology. Read the story here.

Cisco Systems Funds “Whisker” Growth Research at the ALSNovember 28, 2012: CISCO Systems uses BL 12.3.2 for their research on tin whiskers, read the story here.

Beamline 12.3.2 overview

X-ray diffraction is a powerful experimental technique that is routinely used to investigate the structural properties of materials.  We use x-rays focused to a spot size of one micron or less to perform x-ray diffraction experiments with very high spatial resolution. X-ray microdiffraction is providing new insights in the fields of material, energy and environmental sciences. The ALS X-ray microdiffraction facility has undergone a major upgrade in 2007 with its move from the bending magnet end-station 7.3.3. to the superbend beamline 12.3.2. The move was made possible through a NSF grant headed by the Iowa State University. The new end-station with its enhanced capabilities including brighter beam, smaller spot size, better strain sensitivity and broader energy range is now operational.

Why use synchrotron x-ray microdiffraction?

- Materials properties such as strength and fatigue resistance are highly dependent on microstructure.  X-ray microdiffraction can measure local variations in stress, orientation, and plastic deformation between grains and within individual grains, helping us understand mechanical properties at this critical length scale.

- In microelectronics and related industries, the dimensions of the constitutive devices range from a few microns to submicron.  Confinement and interfaces make thin film mechanical properties drastically different than bulk materials.  With x-ray microdiffraction, we can measure local characteristics such as texture and stress within individual devices, offering an experimental counterpart to computer simulations.

- Samples such as soils are highly complex and are a challenge for spatially resolved characterization.  X-ray microdiffraction allows for structural identification of small amounts of phases embedded in a heterogeneous matrix.

For questions and comments about this site, contact Nobumichi Tamura

Quartz in San Andreas fault

Acid Mine drainage

Barium titanite