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)

ChemMatCARS launched FaSTRAC in 2016 to increase the use of our facility by Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) faculty members and their research students. After a competitive proposal process, faculty/student teams from MSIs are fully supported for travel, housing, research materials, and stipend, for four to six week visits to ChemMatCARS. Teams arrive at ChemMatCARS with an ongoing research project that can benefit from X-ray measurements at our facilities. A scientific staff member works closely with the team to measure and analyze data from their samples. At the end of the visit the MSI faculty writes a report of the team’s accomplishments and future plans for their project. Return visits are strongly encouraged for the team to continue their research.

Call for Proposal for 2018-FaSTRAC

The ChemMatCARS sector at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) is sponsoring summer research experiences for faculty and students of 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 aim of our program is to foster research collaborations between ChemMatCARS and MSI faculty.  Interested faculty should submit a proposal by January 20, 2018, 5:00 p.m. CST. Selected faculty and undergraduate or graduate student teams will perform research and work with ChemMatCARS research staff for a period of up to 6 weeks.

Take a look at the 2016 and 2017 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 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 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 2015 and 2017 GSRAC recipients!
2017: Daniel Amoanu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
2015 & 2017: Travis Mitchell (University at Buffalo The State University of New York)


Nearly 250 people visit our facility annually.

  • To request an individual tour, contact the CARS Outreach Coordinator (
  • To request a group tour, contact Argonne National Laboratory's Division of Educational Programs (

Workshops and Courses

We host, organize, and provide major participation in professional-level workshops. Recently, these have included the following:

  • School for Synchrotron Crystallography, organized/hosted by ChemMatCARS, 2014. 
  • Harvard University Advanced Crystallography Class at ChemMatCARS, annually, 2014-2017.
  • Truman State University Advanced Crystallography Class at ChemMatCARS, 2016-2017.
  • School on Liquid Surface Scattering: Data Analysis, organized/hosted by ChemMatCARS, 2016.
  • Liquid Surface Workshop, co-organized by ChemMatCARS and the APS Users Meeting, 2014.
  • Liquid Surface Scattering hands-on experiments at ChemMatCARS for the APS X-ray and Neutron School, annually, 2014-2017.
  • APS Special Interest group on Soft Matter, seminar series organized and hosted monthly by ChemMatCARS, 2014-2017.

Staff Presentations

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. ChemMatCARS staff members are available for presentations. Please contact staff members for more information.