31 Aug 2016

August 2016 E-News

  1. Call for proposals for Cycle 25 (Jan-June 2017) closes August 31 at noon
  2. Synchrotron Infrared Nano-Spectroscopy: SINS at the CLS
  3. 2015-2016 Annual Highlights now available 
  4. Users' Advisory Committee Election Results
  5. Improving food security and livelihoods for rural West Africa          
  6. University of Saskatchewan graduate courses in CLS techniques
  7. Mapping a future for Alberta's oil sands
  8. New staff

1. Call for proposals for Cycle 25 (Jan-June 2017) closes August 31 at noon


The call for general user proposals for Cycle 25 is open until Wednesday, August 31 at noon.

Applicants have the option of submitting a new proposal or a beam time request against an active proposal. Allocation of shifts for this period (Jan-June 2017) will be based on the score a proposal is given by an external review committee. Please note that the installation of new infrastructure is planned for spring 2017, which will reduce the number of available shifts.

If you have questions, please email our Users’ Office. For more information or to apply, please visit our website


2. Synchrotron Infrared Nano-Spectroscopy: SINS at the CLS 

TK Sham order of Canada
Canadian Light Source scientists Scott Rosendahl and Stuart Read, partnering with NeaSpec scientist Tobias Gokus have successfully demonstrated infrared imaging beyond the diffraction limit at the CLSMid-Infrared Beamline
Researchers have long been interested in using infrared to probe materials due to its high chemical specificity. Coupled to a microscope, the composition of a sample can routinely be measured at 2-5 micrometers spatially. Beyond this diffraction limit requires different measurement and optical near-field techniques but increases the spatial resolution to 20-40 nanometers, allowing researchers to probe deeper into their chemical systems.
With the generous support of NeaSpec GmbH, a live demonstration of their neaSNOM Nano-FTIR microscope this month provided researchers a small opportunity to show synchrotron infrared nano-spectroscopy at the CLS for the first time.

3. 2015-2016 Annual Highlights now available

The 2015-16 CLS Annual Highlights report is now available at CLS and online.

The Annual Highlights: Solutions through Innovation showcases some of the world-class work our facility has been instrumental in developing over the last year. With feature stories in health, agriculture, environment and advanced materials, this report is a perfect overview of a year in CLS science.

Download the PDF.


4. Users' Advisory Committee Election Results

The Users' Advisory Committee of the CLS extends congratulations to two recently elected members: Joanne Lemieux (University of Alberta), and Nazanin Samadi (U of S). 

The UAC thanks all of those who voted in the election and all of those who stood for election. Special thanks to Andrew Grosvenor (U of S), and Mercedes Martinson (U of S), whose terms as members on the UAC will end August 31, 2016.

On behalf of the UAC,
Jeff Warner (Chair)

5. Improving food security and livelihoods for rural West Africa

West Africa is ripe for fertilizer microdosing, which means adding small amounts of fertilizer to plants when seeding or after germination. This technique uses just a quarter of the usual amount of fertilizer. However, microdosing has lead to concerns of depleting vital nutrient levels in the ground.

University of Saskatchewan researcher Derek Peak is investigating the long term effects of microdosing to helps ensure long-term soil and crop health, thus improving food security for rural people in Africa.

Read more


6.  University of Saskatchewan graduate course in CLS techniques

The following  graduate synchrotron course will be held at the University of Saskatchewan during Fall 2016.

GEOL 851.3. Synchrotron Hard X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy
Instructors: Graham George and Ingrid Pickering

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a primary technique of the CLS, provides local molecular and electronic structure of specific chemical elements in any matrix. XAS can be applied with little pre-treatment of the sample and can be used to answer fundamental chemical questions about almost any sample or system, from soils and rocks to intact biological tissues to purified proteins or chemicals. The course will include a description of the physical principals underlying XAS, practical aspects of experimental technique, details of data analysis and some common pitfalls and difficulties. This course will equip students with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities, with examples drawn from the chemical, biomedical and environmental sciences.

Contact Delilah Kostuk at d.kostuk@usask.ca for instructor approval, or Ingrid Pickering at ingrid.pickering@usask.ca for more information on the courses.


7.  Mapping a future for Alberta's oil sands

Matt Lindsay, University of Saskatchewan researcher and the NSERC/Syncrude Industrial Research Chair in Mine Closure Geochemistry is using the CLS to understand how current reclamation methods could shape the future of oil sands mine sites and how their surrounding environments may be affected over time.

Lindsay’s research indicates that there is hope water quality within these tailings deposits will improve over time. The big question though, according to Lindsay, is just how long such improvements may take to achieve.

Read more


6.  New staff

Brett Berg – Systems Analyst (Infrastructure)


how can we help?

If you’re looking for information on how you can use CLS techniques in your research program, please contact us using this form.

Example queries may include: Feasibility around a potential experiment? A scientific problem we can help you solve? Is your question related to a specific technique? Do you want to know more about how to apply for beamtime?

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