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.

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). 

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.

Click here to read about Professor Skye's experience in his own words!

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

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.