Soft X-ray Spectromicroscopy


The Spectromicroscopy (SM) beamline user group has strong research programs ranging from polymer science, environmental science, and biological applications to novel material design and magnetic imaging.

An Apple II type undulator provides an intense beam in the 130-2700 eV energy range with user-specified polarization (varying from an arbitrary inclined linear polarization to circular polarization). An infinity corrected plane grating monochromator (PGM) with vertical dispersion plane is designed for a nominal resolving power of 3000 and flux as high as possible. The PGM works with collimated light and allows for the free choice of grating magnification parameters, providing the best compromise between energy resolution (approaching a resolving power of 10000), high order rejection and grating efficiency.

A new cryo-STXM microscope is available for general users. The existing ambient STXM microscope (upstream of the cryo-STXM) will remain available for users. The X-PEEM microscope will not be available for general users due to upgrade in progress. Special requests to use the SM PEEM may be allowed with the approval from the bemline staff. The SM covers the photon energy range from 130 eV to 2700 eV. SM is accepting proposals for STXM experiments.

Please discuss details of your proposal with the beamline scientist prior to submitting your proposal.


  • Status

    Accepting Proposals

  • Spot size:

    STXM: 30 nm
    X-PEEM: 50 nm

  • Energy Resolution (E/ΔE)


  • Energy Range

    130 – 2700 eV

  • Wavelength

    95 – 4.5 Å

  • Flux ( Ph/s/0.1%BW) @ 100 mA

    STMX: ~108 ph/s in 30 nm spot,
    PEEM: ~1012 ph/s in 50 µm spot

  • Source

    75 mm generalized Apple II Elliptically Polarizing Undulator (EPU)


Senior Scientist - Beamline Responsible: Jian Wang 306-657-3546
Associate Scientist:  Yingshen Lu 306-657-3743
Associate Scientist: Charan Kuppili 306-657-3709
Beamline Telephone: 306-657-3609
Beamline Team Leader: Stephen Urquhart
Beamteam Members:
Adam Hitchcock 
Chris Jacobsen
Joseph Gardella 
Konstantin Kaznacheyev 
Martin Obst
Sarbajit Banerjee
Chithra Karunakaran

SM Endstations and Capabilities

The soft X-ray spectromicroscopy (SM) facility has three endstations, an ambient scanning transmission X-ray microscope (STXM), a cryo-STXM microscope and an X-ray photoemission electron microscope (X-PEEM) (under upgrade). The STXMs are installed in-line on the outboard branch line while the X-PEEM is permanently mounted on the inboard branch of SM. Both STXM and X-PEEM can be used to measure orientation properties using the capability of the elliptically polarized undulator (EPU) to rotate the direction of the linear polarization vector by 180°. The EPU also provides fully circular (left and right, 130 - 1000 eV) polarized light for static and dynamic magnetism measurements via XMCD.
  • Ambient-STXM provides high quality 2D/3D chemical and morphological imaging, and spatially resolved NEXAFS spectroscopy from 130 to about 2700 eV with sub 30 nm spatial resolution (20 nm outmost-zone zone plate is available). Dry and wet samples can be measured. Devices for in situ azimuthal and polar sample rotation, imposing magnetic fields up to 5 kG at the center of a dipole permanent magnet (~3 kG at the edge), and measuring samples under cooling/heating (5-80 oC), controlled humidity, and electrochemical conditions are available. In addition, advanced STXM setups, such as total electron yield (TEY) detection, low energy X-ray fluorescence (LEXRF) detection, and coherent diffractive imaging (CDI), i.e. ptychography, are also available.
  • Cryo-STXM provides normal incidence transmission spectromicroscopic  measurements at the cryogenic temperatures (below -170 oC) and close to ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions (10-8 torr), and is also capable to conduct cryo-tomography measurements with samples loaded on custom TEM grids for a sample rotation range from -70o to +70o under UHV condition. The cryo-tomography is achieved with a JEOL 2010 FasTEM Goniometer and a Gatan 630 high-tilt cryo sample holder. Conventional STXM sample plates, compatible with the Ambient-STXM, are also allowed when the Cryo-STXM is converted to the conventional STXM mode.
  • For details on performance and capabilities of the STXMs, please contact Jian Wang.
  • X-PEEM (currently not available due to upgrade, also including the sample preparation chamber) is a commercial X-ray photoemission electron microscope capable of better than 50 nm spatial resolution on UHV compatible and flat surface samples. The X-PEEM chamber is attached to a UHV preparation chamber which includes several evaporation ports, a quartz crystal micro balance, ion sputtering and a LEED/Auger system. For details on performance and capabilities of X-PEEM, please contact Jian Wang.
  • Optical microscopy. An Olympus BX51 optical microscope (with 5x, 10x, 20x, 50x, and 100x objectives, phase, dark field) is available to preview samples for STXM or X-PEEM. It is equipped with hardware and software to measure and record sample positioning to assist rapid sample navigation in STXM and X-PEEM.
  • Cressington 208HR High Resolution Sputter Coater provides sample nanocoating, especially for PEEM samples, as thin as 0.1 nm with the coating sources being Pt, Pd, Cr, Au, etc.


  • Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscope (STXM) is an advanced microscope designed at the CLS, similar to a prototype which operated on Beamline at the Advanced Light Source (Berkeley)
  • Cryo-STXM is designed and built at CLS for both hardware and software
  • X-ray Photo emission Electron Microscope (X-PEEM) that has been acquired commercially from Elmitec
  • Photoemission Electron Microscope (PEEM) (same microscope using UV source)


Entrance slit-less plane grating monochromator; a single grating substrate with three stripes. Optics allows easy switching between the two parallel endstations, STXM and X-PEEM.


  • Cryo-STXM Tomography
  • NEXAFS Spectromicroscopy - X-PEEM mode
  • NEXAFS Spectromicroscopy - STXM transmission mode
  • NEXAFS Spectromicroscopy - STXM TEY mode
  • NEXAFS Spectromicroscopy - STXM XRF mode
  • Soft X-ray Tomography
  • X-ray Linear Dichroism
  • X-ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism (XMCD)
  • STXM-Ptychography

Connect with us

By providing your email address, you are expressing consent to receive electronic messages from the Canadian Light Source. You can unsubscribe from these messages at any time.

Monthly Newsletter

**Newsletters are sent approximately once a month**

Events Notifications

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?