Becoming a Partner

CHESS’s new Funding Partners will capitalize on the opportunity to acquire and access world-leading synchrotron x-ray facilities. The current reconfiguration of CHESS is a rare opportunity to redistribute the United States’ synchrotron resources among research communities. Contact us for more information. 

As support for CHESS shifts from NSF to include other partners, CHESS will evolve from a general user facility to a facility supporting the partners’ research programs.  This will necessarily entail a shift in CHESS’s user community and programmatic focus.  Nevertheless, there are aspects of CHESS that will always remain intact: 

Nimbleness: Over and over again, CHESS has demonstrated the ability to respond quickly to opportunities and challenges.  By way of example, it typically takes CHESS 12-18 months – from concept to commissioning – to rebuild and upgrade an x-ray beamline and restore it fully to user operations.

Cost Effectiveness: The typical cost for CHESS to upgrade an x-ray beamline (including insertion device and x-ray optics) ranges from $1M to $2M. 

Innovation: CHESS has a long tradition of inventing and developing novel technologies and techniques which then find wide adoption in the international synchrotron community. Recent examples developed under the current CHESS award include: the high performance, cost-effective Cornell Compact Undulator (a variant known as the “after burner” produces circular and elliptically polarized x-ray beams at the LCLS enabling studies of magnetism); the lithographically fabricated Cornell Collimating Arrays which enable non-destructive, 3D x-ray fluorescence imaging and are in use at APS, CLS, and PETRA-III; and, the user-friendly and popular RAW suite of programs which support data processing and analysis for BioSAXS has been downloaded over 4000 times in 2017. 

User Service: A consistent refrain from CHESS users is their deep appreciation for what they call “The CHESS experience.” In practice this means consistent and in-depth interactions between users and CHESS scientists and technical staff beginning in the pre-proposal stage and extending through experimental development, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. This is equally valuable to novice users, to users from non-traditional synchrotron disciplines, and to expert users working on novel experiments.

New Users: CHESS has a demonstrated track record of developing both entirely new scientific communities using synchrotron x-rays (recent examples include Structural materials, BioSAXS and Plantphenotyping) and novice users within scientific disciplines with well-established synchrotron communities.