New Scheduling Email

Starting this run, we are sending scheduling emails from a central address: necat@anl.gov  Please feel free to send emails to that address if you need to request time as well.   We are letting everyone know of this change, because it seems to be going to SPAM for some people, or getting overlooked since it’s not expected.  

If you have any needs for this run, please feel free to reach out to necat@anl.gov

Dewar Recovery

Sometimes, a dewar arrives warm and without any visible or noticeable breaks in any of the common breakpoints, such as the neck.  In these situations, it is possible that the vacuum has been lost on the dewar over time, preventing it from holding temperature.  NE-CAT can check the integrity of the vacuum by pumping down the dewar, then, while the dewar is under vacuum, Ed Lynch flows helium gas over the outside of the vacuum vessel, especially at the seams.

EIGER2 X Detector Repairs

At the start up of operations for the 2021-2 run, it was discovered that one of the cards which aggregates data from multiple modules in the EIGER2 detector on 24-ID-C was faulty.  As a result, NE-CAT was forced to reschedule all users on 24-ID-C for the first week of user operations.  However, Dectris was able to immediately send us a replacement part which was successfully installed by Ed Lynch, Jim Withrow, and Malcolm Capel.  Replacing the card did require removal of the EIGER2 from the 24-ID-C A-frame and its subsequent re-installation.

A Cryptic Site of Vulnerability on the Receptor Binding Domain of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein

SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus that has caused a pandemic of severe respiratory disease—COVID-19— within several months of its initial identification. Comparable to the first SARS-CoV, this novel coronavirus’s surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and, thus, is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Illinois Stay-At-Home Order

Per the Illinois Stay-At-Home Order, NE-CAT has only has available beamtime for COVID-19 related research.  On-site access is not available and all data collection must be conducted remotely.

TO:                All Employees

Zoom Motor Replacement

The MD2 Microdiffractometer on 24-ID-E has been at NE-CAT for almost a decade.  In that time, it has been in constant use.  Previously, NE-CAT had purchased spare parts for both microdiffractometers in anticipation of minimizing downtime in the event of mechanical failure.  For the past several months, 24-ID-E users have noticed an increasing occurencing of an inability to center their samples which required intervention by beamtime staff.  This was eventually narrowed down to an increasingly frequent failure of the zoom on the 24-ID-E.

Rapid Access Beamtime for COVID-19 Research

On February 18, 2020, in support of the COVID-19 outbreak, NE-CAT provided rapid access beamtime to researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research working on the the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein receptor-binding-domain. The novel coronavirus's surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Rapid Access Beamtime is available for all research projects related to COVID-19.

EIGER2 X Installed on 24-ID-C

The APS is currently in shutdown for maintenance until the end of January and NE-CAT has used this opportunity to move the EIGER2 from the dry lab and onto the C beamline.  The new detector still needs its protective cover, colloquially called the guillotine, manufactured by Ed Lynch before commissioning proceeds.