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

NSF's 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.

News and Announcements

Congratulations Qi Wang! 2018 APS Student Poster Prize Winner

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ChemMatCARS congratulates our user, Qi Wang, for being chosen as the 2018 APS Student Poster Prize winner at the APS User Meeting.  Qi's poster and presentation, entitled, "Probing Adsorption Interactions in High Valence Metal-Organic Frameworks by In Situ Single-crystal X-ray Diffraction", received a perfect score!

Congratulations Qi Wang! Job well done!

Recent Outreach Activities

USF & NSF's ChemMatCARS University of Chicago Small Molecule Crystallography School

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NSF’s ChemMatCARS and the University of South Florida (USF) hosted a workshop on small molecule X-ray crystallography on April 26-28, 2018 at USF. 24 participants including graduate students and post-docs, from 9 institutions across the US, attended the workshop. 

Workshop webpage:

2018 Science in Search of Women Conference


Women In Science and Technology (WIST) at ANL hosts the Science Careers in Search of Women (SCSW) conference every year inspiring young women to pursue careers in science.  The conference includes lectures, tours, career booth exhibits and mentoring.  On April 19th, ChemMatCARS hosted 30 female high school students at the 15-ID beamline.  They got the opportunity to tour the beamline and learn more about the Liquid Surface Scattering, Advanced Crystallography and Anomalous Small Angle X-ray Scattering techniques. 

Every year since 2016, ChemMatCARS has participated in the SCSW conference and looks forward to next year’s tour!

Hoffman Estates High School Students visit ChemMatCARS for Exemplary Student Research Program 

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On March 2, 2018, ChemMatCARS conducted our Exemplary Student Research Program (ESRP) with the students from Hoffman Estates High School (HEHS).  ChemMatCARS has been hosting this program since 2016 in collaboration with Wayne Oras, Jr., the Applied Technology instructor from HEHS.  Students performed hands-on experiments for their proposal entitled, “ESRP: Characterizing the Structure of Self-Assembled Lead (II) Sulfide Nanoparticle Superlattices Based on Variable Ligand Surface Coverage”.  This year, students had the opportunity to work with our Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) beamline scientist, Mrinal Bera, at the 15-ID beamline.  Students were assigned 2 consecutive shifts, starting at 4pm on March 2nd and ending at 8am on March 3rd.  During their beamtime, they prepped samples, ran scans, and collected data.  We are excited for next year and can’t wait to see their results!

2017 Neutron X-ray School 

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From August 8-10, 2017, ChemMatCARS participated in the Neutron X-ray Scattering School facilitated by APS.  ChemMatCARS hosted 8 students from several institutions in the US to perform two-days of hands on experiments.  Students focused on isotherm measurements, grazing incident diffraction (GID), x-ray reflectivity (XR), data retrieval, GID data analysis and XR data analysis using software created by ChemMatCARS beamline scientist, Wei Bu.  The purpose of these experiments was to determine the structure and ordering of a Langmuir monolayer of phospholipid molecules, dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC). 

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.

Anomalous Small Angle X-ray scattering (ASAXS) to probe element specific structural information from materials in the length scales of few nanometers to hundreds of nanometers.