Education and Outreach

NSF’s ChemMatCARS is a national facility for chemistry and materials research. We welcome students at all levels – high school, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate – into our laboratories, providing them the opportunity to learn about x-ray science and instrumentation, and participate in hands-on experiments.

Faculty and Student Team Research Award at ChemMatCARS (FaSTRAC)

NSF’s ChemMatCARS at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) of Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) is sponsoring summer research experiences for faculty and students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Alaska Native-Serving Institutions and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (ANNHSIs) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). The purpose of our program is to provide MSI faculty members and their research students with hands-on experience and one-on-one training, thereby increasing their use of NSF’s ChemMatCARS facility and establishing long-term collaborations between scientists in MSIs and NSF’s ChemMatCARS.

Take a look at the previous FaSTRAC recipients

Graduate Student Research Award at ChemMatCARS (GSRAC)

The annual Graduate Student Research Award at ChemMatCARS (GSRAC) program supports two graduate students to carry out their research and participate in other beamline activities at NSF’s ChemMatCARS over an extended period of 4–6 weeks during the summer. This program allows students to pursue their PhD research and deepen their understanding of the sophisticated synchrotron x-ray techniques and capabilities at NSF’s ChemMatCARS and the Advanced Photon Source. Preference is given to women and members of under-represented groups (URG), but all are encouraged to apply.

Take a look at the previous GSRAC recipients


Since August 2003, more than 1000 people have visited our facility, most of them students.

Nearly 250 people visit our facility annually.

Teaching Experiments

In 2007, 2012, and 2016 we hosted the School on Liquid Surface X-ray Scattering for graduate students and professors. We have participated in Argonne’s National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering during the summers of 2002-2016. We also hosted a pilot laboratory investigation for high school advanced-placement physics students from nearby Riverside-Brookfield High School in the spring of 2003.

Workshops and Courses

We host, organize, and provide major participation in professional-level workshops.

Recently, these have included the following:

For a full listing of workshops and courses, click here

Staff Presentations

NSF’s ChemMatCARS staff members have been actively involved in events promoting scientific careers, synchrotron x-ray research, and student involvement in science. These include more than fifty staff presentations to groups of students, as well as participation as judges and advisors in student competitions. NSF’s ChemMatCARS staff members are available for presentations. Please contact staff members for more information.

Yu-Sheng Chen instructs students from the Synchrotron Charge Density School 2013 during a hands-on experiment.

Binhua Lin instructs students from the Liquid Surface X-ray Scattering School 2012 during a hands-on experiment.

A group photo for the Small and Wide-Angle Scattering Workshop 2012.