Studying Materials with the LCLS: The First Year of SXR
Dedicated to materials research with soft x-rays, the SXR instrument took first light from the LCLS on May 6, 2010. Following commissioning the instrument launched into a diverse set of user experiments ranging from studying the ultrafast dynamics of magnetic systems, to the evolution of molecules on catalytic surfaces and even matter under extreme conditions. The ability of the SXR instrument to adapt to such a wide range of experiments is born out of the diverse set of user provided experimental end-stations that are rolled up and temporary connected. X-rays from the LCLS are delivered to these end-stations through the SXR beamline, which can tailor the x-ray bandwidth and spot size for each experiment. The first run has revealed a better understanding of the interaction of intense FEL soft x-rays with matter and demonstrated the viability of many soft x-ray techniques at the LCLS. The SXR instrument is the second instrument at LCLS to take beam, but the most recent instrument to enter the scope of the LCLS. SXR was initiated and supported by an international consortium that realized a need for a soft x-ray spectroscopy, scattering and imaging beamline. As a result, the outstanding operation of the LCLS combined with a knowledgeable and dedicated user community has produced a world-class tool for understanding materials.