What we do

Each year, over 1,000 scientists and scientists in training visit CHESS to collect data that comprises all or part of their research programs.

 

A special NIH Research Resource, called MacCHESS, supports special facilities for macromolecular crystallography and BioSAXS. CHESS-U is the current upgrade that will extend CHESS's capacity for cutting-edge research.

The InSitµ group provides user support for structural materials with a scientific and engineering staff that is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art specimen handling and in-hutch instrumentation for high-energy x-ray beams. InSitµ’s data collection software, computational tools for analysis, visualization and interpretation have provided insight into the residual stress and characterization of materials. The InSitµ group provides user support for structural materials with a scientific and engineering staff that is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art specimen handling and in-hutch instrumentation for high-energy x-ray beams. InSitµ’s data collection software, computational tools for analysis, visualization and interpretation have provided insight into the residual stress and characterization of materials.

While building on the successful operation of undulators, CHESS is establishing itself as a world-leading 3rd-generation, high-energy, high-flux x-ray synchrotron source. The combination of CHESS’s unique facilities and culture of supporting novel experiments and developing novel technologies enable our international user community to perform experiments that simply cannot be performed elsewhere.

Examples of unique capabilities developed in the past year at CHESS include: time-resolved, simultaneous imaging and diffraction studies of all the crystallites in a macroscopic sample of structural steel during dynamic loading, the technique is now being applied to organic thin-film devices; simultaneous two element x-ray emission spectroscopy of biological catalysts to explore the role of multiple metallic sites in enzymes; high dynamic range diffraction studies of the subtle decay of ordering in correlated electron systems due to radiation damage; time-resolved structural studies of thin-film growth and processing; and, three-dimensional chemical mapping of macroscopic samples with 1-μm spatial resolution to probe the distribution of metallic toxins in commercially obtained sea-food or in the exhumed bones of 18th century sailors. Each of these capabilities represents a finely tuned system that is only getting stronger at CHESS.