CLASSE: Student Opportunities

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SERCCS 2023 Projects

Steve Meisburger
"A multi-modal micro-spectrometer for time-resolved macromolecular crystallography"

Macromolecular crystallography (MX) is the premier technique for observing protein structures at atomic resolution, and it contributes to fundamental discoveries in biochemistry, biophysics, and medicine. Intense synchrotron sources such as CHESS enable time-resolved MX experiments, where fast reactions are monitored in real time. The FlexX beamline at CHESS is developing new instrumentation to support time-resolved experiments on electron transfer reactions in enzymes involved in metabolism and sensing. A key requirement is the ability to measure the oxidation state of enzyme cofactors during the experiment in order to correlate chemical information with structural changes. A multi-modal micro-spectrometer will be developed and integrated into the MX beamline to measure UV, visible, and infrared spectra of single crystals.

The student will work in close collaboration with CHESS scientists and technical staff to design, construct, and integrate a multi-modal micro-spectrometer at FlexX. The first-generation spectrometer design utilizes reflective optics to measure fluorescence and resonant Raman signals from tiny crystals. The exact summer project will be tailored to the student's interests and previous experience, and can include aspects of the optical system design, mechanical design, commissioning experiments, and software integration.

Kate Shanks
"An interactive web-based tool for experiment planning at FAST"

The Forming and Shaping Technology (FAST) beamline at CHESS focuses on in-situ high-energy diffraction and imaging measurements of structural materials under various thermomechanical loading and processing conditions. Optimizing the experimental setup, in particular choice of energy, area detector, and sample-to-detector distance, involves a number of trade-offs regarding real- and/or reciprocal-space coverage, detector angular resolution, temporal resolution, and signal strength. These tradeoffs can be particularly challenging to visualize for diffraction measurements.

This project will focus on the development of a web-based visualization tool, building off existing Python codes, for the planning of diffraction experiments to assist FAST users in evaluating the trade-offs involved in various choices of experimental setup parameters.

Amlan Das
"Enhancing mechanical testing capabilities at FAST"

Mechanical tests such as uniaxial loading are an essential component of characterizing structural materials. The stress-strain response of a material obtained from uniaxial mechanical tests informs a wide variety of applications, including component design, property predication and performance simulations. Obtaining a high-fidelity stress strain response is thus critical. This project aims to characterize the effect of the mechanical testing equipment (the RAMS II, RAMS IV and the CCLF loadframes) on the stress-strain curves they produce.

The student shall perform mechanical tests and analyze the corresponding load-displacement data to find backlash and machine compliance. The student shall also perform experiments to characterize and compare a variety of displacement measurement techniques and in conclusion suggest the best strategy for strain measurement during beamtimes. Depending upon student interest, design and machining of sample grips to incorporate acoustic emission sensors would also be a component of this project.

In this project, the student shall have the opportunity to work with mechanical load frames, displacement measurement devices, numerical data analysis software (such as MATLAB/Python/Origin Pro) as well as CAD tools.

Suchismita Sarker
"Automatic Sample Centering for High-throughput Quantum Materials Beamline"

The advancement of high-energy synchrotron light sources and modern detectors drastically reduced the time to perform high-dynamic range mapping at quantum materials beamline at CHESS. The complete three-dimensional (3D) reciprocal space volumes including thousands of Brillouin zones (BZs) will take only 20 minutes of data collection, however, the manual mounting and centering of the sample took 15-30 minutes for each sample alignment. This manual crystal centering time is even more crucial for high-throughput beamlines as a quick scan is needed for many samples. Therefore, to make the beamline more automatic and handle more sample screening in a high-throughput fashion, the student will work on automatic sample centering for the beamline. It will significantly impact the beamline productivity.

In this project, the SERCCS student will learn to do digital photo-image processing and PyEpics for communication with EPICS. The project is based on developing completely automatic sample-centering; therefore, basic programming experience is necessary (the preferred language is python).

Projects are being added; check back periodically for updated project listing. You don't have to wait for all the projects to be posted here to apply - if you get selected for our program, we will contact you further with selection options.