Dedicated to static and dynamic condensed matter chemistry and materials science. Learn More About ChemMatCARS


Used to investigate dynamical and structural properties of surfaces and interfaces in a variety of liquid and solid systems. Learn More About Liquid Surface At ChemMatCARS

Liquid Surface/Interface X-ray Scattering

Uses a "rapid setup" crystallography facility that allows us to rapidly switch operation to the single-crystal instrument. Learn More About Crystallography At ChemMatCARS

Advanced Crystallography


ChemMatCARS operates three experimental stations in the areas of advanced small-molecule crystallography, liquid surface and interface scattering, and small to wide-angle scattering at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), the premier undulator-based synchrotron source of high-brilliance high-energy x-rays in the U.S.A. The instrumentation at ChemMatCARS provides information that addresses a broad range of issues in chemistry and materials research.

2017 Faculty and Student Team Research Award at ChemMatCARS

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Left to right: Dr. Yu-Sheng Chen, Dr. Binhua Lin, Skye Fortier, and Jesse Murillo

ChemMatCARS hosted Professor Skye Fortier and his student Jesse Murillo from the University of Texas at El Paso for the 2017 Faculty and Student Team Research Award at ChemMatCARS Program. The Fortier group is interested in molecular metal complexes with novel structures and electronic properties, with special focus on multi-electron chemistry with early transition metals as well as the exploration of the chemistry of f-orbitals by studying uranium compounds. X-ray crystallography is a primary tool for elucidating the molecular and extended structures of these compounds and vital for advancing these projects. Dr. Fortier and his student used the high resolution crystallography setup at ChemMatCARS and collected datasets for over 30 different compounds and are currently refining the structures. They discussed their project and future collaboration with ChemMatCARS staff and will be back as users of the beamline.

2017 Graduate Student Research Award at ChemMatCARS (GSRAC)
Our first recipient this year:
Daniel Amoanu,
University of Illinois at Chicago


Daniel Amoanu (standing) presenting his research to ChemMatCARS

ChemMatCARS launched its summer development program, GSRAC, May 8, 2017, aimed at exposing graduate students to the current synchrotron techniques and data analysis procedures performed at our facilities here at APS.  Daniel is a Chemical Engineering PhD student from the University of Illinois at Chicago studying the ordering of passivated gold nanoparticles at an electrified liquid-liquid interface and has been experimenting at Sector 15 for the past 5 years under the supervision of Prof. Mark Schlossman.  Under the supervision of Mrinal Bera and Wei Bu, Daniel made progress in his analysis of x-ray reflectivity and GISAXS data to address the interactions responsible for nanoparticle position, transport, and ordering at the interface.

It was a pleasure hosting Daniel at ChemMatCARS for this program and we look forward to next year’s development program!

Click here to read about Daniel's experience in his own words

ChemMatCARS welcomes International Student Visitor,
Seiji Katakura!

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Seiji is a Ph. D. student from Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan.  He studies interfacial structures of ionic liquids as well as air, liquid, and solid interfaces where he mainly uses molecular dynamics simulation and electrochemical measurements.  Seiji joined ChemMatCARS in May 2017 and will learn about x-ray reflectivity at the liquid-liquid interface, as well as measuring structures at the water interface during his three month visit.

Welcome Seiji!  We are thrilled to have you!

Mrinal Bera 
joins ChemMatCARS as our new Anomalous Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (ASAXS) Scientist!

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Mrinal joined ChemMatCARS in March 2017 to assist with developing the ASAXS technique at 15ID-D SAXS/WAXS beamline at APS.  The purpose of ASAXS development at 15ID-D is to create an understanding of charged polyelectrolyte systems.  This development is funded by the Institute of Molecular Engineering (IME) at the University of Chicago.  Before joining ChemMatCARS, he spent a year at European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) as a beamline scientist at the DUBBLE beamline (BM-26).   Mrinal's research interest includes probing interfacial and bulk soft-matter interactions in nanomaterials, polymers, and two-dimensional materials.

ChemMatCARS is pleased to have Mrinal onboard.  Welcome!

University of Chicago Lab Schools Tour at ChemMatCARS

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On February 28, 2017, ChemMatCARS participated in hosting a tour for second- year chemistry students from the University of Chicago Lab Schools, along with BioCARS and GSECARS.  Students were given a brief overview of APS, followed by an overview of CARS by Mark Rivers.  After the introductions, students were separated into two groups and given brief presentations by Wei Bu and Suyin Wang about liquid surface and crystallography techniques used here at ChemMatCARS.

Scientific Focus

The scientific focus of user activities at ChemMatCARS is the study of structure and dynamics over the range of length scales from atomic and molecular to mesoscopic. The experimental techniques available to the scientific community span a spatial resolution of sub-angstrom to micrometer and a time resolution from 50 ns to minutes. These include:

High Precision Crystallography to study charge (i.e., electron) densities, bonding, microcrystals, resonant diffraction, high-pressure (up to 10 GPa) single crystal diffraction, and transient state/photo-crystallography.

Scattering From Liquid Surfaces and Liquid-Liquid Interfaces to measure atomic, molecular, and mesoscopic ordering at interfaces using resonant and non-resonant reflectivity, grazing-incidence diffraction and small angle scattering, surface fluorescence, surface diffuse scattering, and fast techniques, such as grazing incidence diffraction in the 1D pinhole geometry.

Small and wide-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) to probe ordering in bulk materials on angstrom to micrometer length scales.