The CLS recognizes that providing convenient access to our facilities is important for our users. While many experiments require researchers to be on-site, other routine measurements are good candidates for Mail-In services where beamline staff collect data on samples provided by users with an active CLS Project.

Given that our resources are limited, and demand for these Mail-In services is high in certain scientific areas, we are conducting a pilot project to formalize fee-for-service Mail-In data collection for academic projects awarded beamtime through the CLS peer review process, on the SGM beamline only. We will be looking for feedback from users participating in the pilot project so that the process can be adapted as necessary in the future.

Note that Mail-In access to all other beamlines is unaffected at this time.

Mail-In User Responsibilities

Experiment Plan
  • Complete a Sample Mail-In Form (to be provided to the user prior to the Mail-In experiment), providing complete and accurate sample information, along with a detailed description of measurements that should be completed for each sample.
  • Note that only samples which can be measured in the amount of beamtime awarded to the project will be completed. As a general guideline, six (6) samples can typically be measured on SGM in a single eight-hour Mail-In shift.
Sample Identification
  • Label sample containers clearly with the same sample identifier code used in the Sample Mail-In Form. No other information should be on the sample container. Samples will be put in a plastic bag labelled with the project number, principal investigator, and date.
  • Improperly labelled samples may be returned to the user, at the user's expense. 
  • Follow all shipping instructions to ensure samples are accepted by the CLS shipping/receiving department, or for users from the University of Saskatchewan, deliver samples to CLS shipping/receiving at the back of the building.
  • Acknowledge the Canadian Light Source in publications on work performed in whole or in part at the CLS, and report those publications in the CLS User Portal. The list of publications reported to the CLS is an important factor in our funding and is taken into consideration during the CLS peer review process.

Acknowledging the CLS  Reporting Publications

Service Details

Sample Mounting
  • Powder samples may be pressed (without binder) into an aluminum ring sample holders or pressed onto double sided Carbon-tape or Indium foil on either an aluminum, carbon, steel or brass plate.  Coupons will be fastened to either an aluminum, carbon, steel or brass plate using double sided Carbon-tape. 
  • For other sample mounting options contact the beamline technical contact or delegate.
XAS Data Collection
  • Both total electron yield (TEY) and partial fluorescence yield (PFY) will be collected for all samples, references and calibrants. 
  • The TEY signal will be acquired by monitoring the sample drain current. 
  • The PFY signal with energy resolution of ~100 eV will be measured using silicon drift detectors at various angles to the sample. 
  • The beam spot will be between 50-100 µm (microns) in the vertical and horizontal directions, respectively.  The beamline energy will be swept over the desired excitation energy range at a rate determined by beamline staff (typically 1-minute sweeps for 50 eV energy range). 
  • Multiple consecutive scans will be acquired until a sufficient signal-to-noise ratio is achieved, up to a maximum of 60 scans.  New or ‘fresh’ spots will be used for each successive scan. 
  • An excitation-emission matrix Spectroscopy (EEMS) measurement will be performed on an arbitrary position of the sample.
Calibration samples
  • A calibration sample for each absorption edge will be selected by beamline staff and measured during the acquisition process.
Data access and analysis
  • Users will be able to access, display, process, and download their raw and processed data from their “User Data Account” identified previously in “real-time” by logging into using their CLS User Portal login credentials.   
  • Basic data analysis such as interpolation, averaging and EEMS Region of Interest (ROI) selection tools are provided through the 'sgmdata' website.  
  • If you require any assistance with data analysis, contact the SGM beamline staff.


Pricing for mail-in measurements on the SGM beamline are outlined below. The total costs will depend on sample mounting techniques and the number of elements/edges to be measured. An agreement of estimated costs for services will be established between the user and the CLS prior to experiments being performed, based on the user's specific requirements.

Sample Mounting
$10 per sample
Pre-mounted samples, thin film, or pressed powder
For other sample mounting requirements, including glove box preparation, contact Beamline Staff.
Setup / Data Collection
$5 per edge/element per sample
X-ray spectroscopy (TEY, FY, EEMS)
Sample Return Shipping
$70 flat rate

Cost Calculator