News & Topics

Start of simultaneous operation of three beamlines in 2017B (information for users)

SACLA will start parallel operations of the two hard X-ray FEL beamlines (BL2 and BL3) in the 2017B term starting September 2017. Together with the soft X-ray FEL (SXFEL) at BL1 that is already in operation for users, SACLA will offer the unique capability of providing FEL light at all three beamlines simultaneously, which will greatly expand the availability of SACLA. We will provide the following information to SACLA users for more effective use of this expanded opportunity.

Experiments at BL2
BL2 is mainly used for biological experiments using established methods with standard setups. An experimental platform is stationed for a relatively long period of time to allow for efficient use of beamtime. The following experiments are conducted at BL2:
      - Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SFX)
      - Fixed-target Protein Crystallography (FPX)
      - Coherent Diffractive Imaging (CDI)
Please note that pump-probe measurements that require high resolution of the order of femtoseconds are performed at BL3 using the timing diagnostic system.

Feasibility-check beamtime(FCBT)
For users whose proposals are approved, SACLA will offer opportunities for feasibility-check beamtime (FCBT) that can be scheduled several weeks in advance of their beamtime. For example, users will be able to utilize FCBT for screening their samples and examining measurement conditions, which can be fed back into their experiments to achieve successful results. The maximum length of FCBT is 0.5 shifts (6 hours) for each proposal. Please note that FCBT is provided under the following conditions for the time being:
       - Beamline & experimental hutch: BL2 EH3
       - Experimental system: DAPHNIS [1]
       - Standard photon energy: 7 keV (pink beam)
       - X-ray spot size: 1-2 um (with the 1-um focusing system at EH3).

Those who require feasibility-check beamtime should provide the reasons in their proposal.

Current status of BL1
In October 2015, SACLA successfully generated SXFEL light with a wavelength of about 30 nm at the upgraded BL1. After its commissioning, the SXFEL beamline started user operations in July 2016. The shortest wavelength (highest photon energy) of SXFEL reached less than 12 nm (above 100 eV) after the accelerator upgrade during the summer shutdown in 2016.
Now the SXFEL pulse energies are several tens of microjoules within a standard wavelength range of 10-30 nm (40-120 eV in photon energy), while becoming several microjoules in the 8-10 nm (120-150 eV) wavelength range. A spectral bandwidth is about 2%. A focusing K-B optical system is available for producing an SXFEL spot of about 10 um.

[1] K. Tono et al, "Diverse application platform for hard X-ray diffraction in SACLA (DAPHNIS): application to serial protein crystallography using an X-ray free-electron lase", J. Synchrotron Rad. 22, 532-537 (2015).