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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields 2 Major User Facilities This chapter reviews the current status of the major U.S. user facilities (synchrotron light sources, neutron sources, and high-magnetic-field laboratory), the scientific and technical trends in each area, demographic trends in the user communities, and the implication of these trends for the management of the facilities. SYNCHROTRON FACILITIES Snapshot of Current Facilities and Planned Upgrades Synchrotron light sources are characterized as first, second, or third generation, reflecting their evolutionary history. A first-generation source is one that is “parasitic”; that is, photons are generated as by-products of a storage ring operated for another purpose, usually particle physics. A second-generation source is dedicated to the production of photons. A third-generation source is optimized for high brilliance by the use of insertion devices called undulators and wigglers, which improve the intensity, focus, brilliance, or spectral bandwidth of the photon beam. A source can be reclassified either by a change in management policy, as occurred at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) when the focus for its core operation was redirected from high-energy physics research to photon production, or by upgrading the facility, as will soon take place at SSRL. Some types of research can be conducted on all generations of sources, and some require the properties of the more advanced sources. There are currently six major synchrotron user facilities in operation in the United States (Appendix D). DOE supports two third-generation facilities (the
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields ALS at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the APS at Argonne National Laboratory) and two second-generation facilities (the NSLS at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the SSRL in Palo Alto, California). The NSF supports one first-generation facility (CHESS), which is parasitic on the high-energy physics program at Cornell University, and one second-generation facility, the SRC at the University of Wisconsin. In addition, the state of Louisiana supports the Center for Advanced Microstructure and Design (CAMD) at Louisiana State University, a second-generation facility not originally operated as a national user facility but now being developed into one. DOC supports the small synchrotron at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a second-generation source that is used primarily by the NIST staff for calibrations. Because the last two are not now user facilities, they were not included in this study. No additional U.S. synchrotron sources are planned to be constructed in the near future, although research is continuing on a fourth-generation concept that will likely be based on a free-electron laser (BESAC, 1999). Planned investments focus on upgrading current sources (e.g., SSRL) and developing new beamlines and experimental instrumentation at existing facilities. There are currently around 35 synchrotron user facilities in operation in 13 other countries. These include two third-generation sources comparable to APS in France and Japan and four third-generation sources comparable to ALS in Italy, South Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. As of 1997, 11 light sources were under construction outside the United States, including third-generation sources in Germany, Japan, and Switzerland; another 15 were in various stages of design, including a third-generation source in Canada that has been approved for funding and two in China and France that are expected to be funded.1 The most advanced U.S. synchrotron facilities are regarded as state of the art and compare favorably with those in any other country. Trends in the Scientific Applications of Synchrotron Sources Scientific trends in synchrotron applications have been analyzed extensively in several recent reviews (BESAC, 1997; Structural Biology Synchrotron Users Organization, 1997; OSTP, 1999); only emerging areas are highlighted here. The most notable current trend, one driving many of the demands on synchrotron facilities, is the explosion in use of synchrotron radiation in crystallographic analyses of biological macromolecules. This trend will continue. Each property of synchrotron radiation—brilliance, tunability, time structure, and coherence—can be exploited for research. The hard x-ray beams emerging from the undulators at third-generation synchrotron sources are the most intense ever produced. This brilliance, when coupled with the analytical tech- 1 See Appendix D of BESAC (1997).
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields niques of x-ray scattering, diffraction, spectroscopy, and direct imaging, yields an unprecedented capability to characterize structural and dynamical properties of complex materials. Applications are being made to larger and more heterogeneous systems, with studies possible on smaller and less-well-ordered samples. The coherence of the x-ray beams from undulator sources excites researchers as much as do their extraordinary intensities. Because of the natural coherence of these sources, x-ray correlation spectroscopy—a method that enables the collective motion of molecules to be studied on length scales as small as nanometers (one billionth of a meter)— is an especially exciting prospect. This technology makes it possible to explore an entirely new world of dynamical phenomena with x rays, a probe normally thought of as capable of yielding only static structures. Laser experiments provide similar dynamical information, but they are limited to the more macroscopic-length scales of hundreds of nanometers. The coherence of third-generation x-ray sources will also enable the development of methods for focusing x-ray beams down to the 100-Å regime, thereby permitting structural characterizations of heterogeneous materials at the nanometer level. X-ray lenses are being developed for hard x-ray microscopes designed to operate in an energy range from 10 to 100 keV. Synchrotron studies on amorphous and partially ordered systems are expected to become increasingly important. X-ray imaging with microprobes is emerging as a major new technique with applications in the life sciences as well as in materials science and engineering. Nearly every materials science collaborative access team (CAT) at the APS is now developing microprobe capabilities, an activity that was not anticipated in the original plans for these experimental units. There will also be a substantial increase in user need for dedicated small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) capabilities both for polymers and for the biophysics community, as anticipated in the Structural Biology Synchrotron Users Organization (1997) report. The importance of high (angular) resolution, SAXS, and diffraction is being seen in structural studies of soft condensed matter (e.g., the ubiquitous polymeric materials) and disordered and partially ordered biological assemblies (lipid membranes, filamentous proteins). X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques enable not only the identification of trace elements at parts-per-million to parts-per-billion concentration levels but also the determination of their chemical states. Continued growth of synchrotron applications in the life sciences is assured, especially in crystallographic studies of macromolecular structure, as shown by the record of structural biology publications and user-generated proposals for dedicated beamlines. One trend is toward large macromolecular assemblages such as multiprotein molecular machines, membrane proteins, ribosomes, and viruses. Another is toward structural genomics, the high-throughput analysis of structural representatives from across entire genomes. Multiwavelength anomalous diffraction analysis, made possible by the tunability of synchrotron radiation, is rapidly becoming the method of choice for structure determination
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields (Hendrickson, 1991). Time-resolved crystallography, which exploits the time structure of intense synchrotron beams, is beginning to provide detailed pictures of chemical reactions in proteins (Moffat, 1989). FIGURE 2.1 Number of synchrotron users by field at the SSRL, NSLS, APS, ALS, SRC, and CHESS in 1990 and in 1997 or 1998. Total users: 2,135 in 1990 and 4,296 in 1997 or 1998. The term “users” counts on-site researchers who conduct experiments at facilities. An individual is counted as one user (per facility annually) regardless of the number of visits in a year. Data for the DOE facilities are given for 1997; CHESS and SRC figures are for 1998. (Although the total usage at DOE facilities is known, the breakdown of users by field does not exist for 1998.) The overall number of synchrotron users at all facilities in 1998 was 5,353 (see Chapter 1, Table 1.1). SOURCE: Information supplied to the committee by Sol M. Gruner, CHESS,on May 5, 1999; James W. Taylor, SRC, on May 17, 1999; and DOE Officeof Basic Energy Sciences on June 10, 1999. Trends in the Synchrotron Source User Community The number of synchrotron users continues to increase rapidly. Data from the four DOE-supported facilities (NSLS, SSRL, ALS, and APS) and the NSF-supported CHESS and SRC facilities show that from 1990 to 1998 the number of users grew by more than a factor of 2.5, from about 2,135 to about 5,353 (see Table 1.1 and Figure 2.1).2 While the largest increase has been at NSLS and SSRL (primarily because they are the oldest facilities and were among the first to 2 Total synchrotron users in Table 1.1 differ from those in Figure 2.1 because the table contains data through 1998 for DOE while the figure shows data only through 1997 for DOE.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields offer dedicated beam time), a similar increase is expected at the newer third-generation sources (APS and ALS) (BESAC, 1997). The change in scientific disciplines of the user community between 1990 and 1997 is also illustrated in Figure 2.1. The number of users from the materials sciences increased from 1,000 to over 1,400, an increase of 43%, but because of the huge increase in number of users, this corresponds to a decrease in fraction of users from 47% to 33%. Users from the life sciences constituted the fastest-growing user community, increasing over sixfold in number and from 9% to 33% of total users. The number of users from the life sciences, the majority of whom are NIH- and NSF-funded, is now comparable to the number of users from the materials sciences. This has raised concerns about the equity of current operations and maintenance support of the facilities and about the future appropriateness of DOE as the steward for many of these facilities. These issues will be discussed further in Chapter 4. NEUTRON FACILITIES Snapshot of Current Facilities and Planned Upgrades Neutron sources are characterized as continuous (provided by nuclear reactors) or pulsed (spallation sources, provided by particle accelerators). The United States has three reactor sources and two spallation sources (Appendix D). All three of the U.S. reactors were commissioned in the 1960s: the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) at Brookhaven in 1965, the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1966, and the Center for Neutron Research (CNR) at NIST in 1969. 3 The NIST facility is the only U.S. source of cold (long-wavelength) neutrons. At this writing, HFBR is not operating, and upgrade plans are on hold.4 While no additional U.S. reactors are planned in the near future, an upgrade to HFIR, including installation of a cold source and construction of instrumentation, is proceeding (Chakoumakos, 1999). In addition to these facilities, the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center (MURR), commissioned in 1965, provides the highest intensity flux of the dozens of university research reactors in the United States.5 Since the university research reactors are not national user facilities, they will not be considered further in this study. The two spallation sources were commissioned in the 1980s: the Intense 3 Presentation to the committee by J. Rush, NIST Center for Neutron Research, September 14, 1998. 4 HFBR was shut down in January 1997 but is planned to be reopened. 5 Further information on MURR is available online at <http://www.missouri.edu/~murrwww/ mission.html>.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) at Argonne National Laboratory in 1981 and the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1985. A new state-of-the-art spallation facility, called the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), is planned to be commissioned in 2006.6 The SNS will be optimized for operation at 2 MW and will produce at least 10 times as many neutrons as any other such source. In addition, an upgrade for LANSCE, which includes the construction of four new instruments for neutron scattering measurements, is proceeding.7 Several other countries have built modern and technologically sophisticated facilities in recent years. The Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) facility in Grenoble, France, built in the early 1970s, surpasses all U.S. continuous neutron sources, while the ISIS facility in the United Kingdom, commissioned in 1985, eclipses all U.S. pulsed sources. The ILL and ISIS are, respectively, the most powerful and best-equipped continuous and pulsed neutron facilities in the world. Moreover, there are plans to increase the power of the United Kingdom’s ISIS facility and to augment its capabilities by adding a second target station (OECD, 1998). The Swiss Spallation Neutron Source, SINQ, started operation in 1996, and a new German reactor, FRM-II, is under construction with a planned start date in 2001. Current upgrades at the ILL and ORPHÉE reactors promise considerable gains in intensity and efficiency, and there is scope for the installation of new instruments to increase user capacity. The U.S. neutron sources do not compare favorably with those elsewhere in the world. The inadequate supply of neutrons in the United States (especially cold neutrons), as well as the inadequate and outdated instrumentation of many U.S. neutron facilities, has been found to be an impediment to the scientific productivity of the neutron research community (NRC, 1984; BESAC, 1993, 1998). The committee agrees with the cited review committees’ recommendations for source improvement, instrument development, and expanded facility staffing. Trends in the Scientific Applications of Neutron Sources Trends in scientific neutron applications have been analyzed in several recent reviews (ENSA, 1998; BERAC, 1998; SNS, 1998). The most rapidly developing areas of research are (1) the use of cold neutrons in the science of polymers and complex fluids (BESAC, 1993), (2) the exploitation of neutron reflectometry, and (3) the extension of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to a greater range of scientific problems and sample environments. In the biosciences, growth 6 The SNS is a $1.36 billion project supported by DOE to build the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source. The SNS is scheduled to be commissioned in FY 2006; by FY 2008 it is expected to be used annually by up to 2,000 researchers from academia, national labs, and industry. The preferred site is Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 7 Personal communication from Geoffrey L. Greene, LANSCE, April 13, 1999.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields is expected in low-resolution structural studies of multicomponent noncrystalline systems and dynamic studies that probe the relationship between biological function and molecular motion in macromolecules. Applications of SANS and reflectometry to polymers and soft materials will continue to grow, as will applications of inelastic scattering, including the use of neutrons to study adsorbates and in situ catalytic processes. The use of specialized powder diffraction techniques, which enable engineers to measure strain and texture in materials of technological and commercial importance, will show enormous growth, as will the use of conventional powder diffraction patterns to study both atomic and magnetic structure. The characteristics of neutrons that will be exploited include their electrical neutrality, the atomic number independence of their scattering cross sections, the isotopic dependence of their scattering cross sections, the range of different energy and momentum transfer possible in a scattering experiment, their possession of magnetic moments, and their polarizability. The charge neutrality of neutrons means that they penetrate solids to depths of centimeters, thus enabling studies of bulk phenomena in situ. The isotopic dependence of their scattering cross section (which can be used, for example, to distinguish hydrogen from deuterium) makes neutrons especially useful for studying light atoms in soft materials. Their possession of magnetic moments makes neutrons uniquely sensitive probes of magnetic interactions. Using neutrons, one can simultaneously determine the atomic and magnetic structures of, for example, colossal magnetoresistive materials, which are of interest for high-density magnetic storage media. Both thermal and cold neutrons are useful probes for investigating the structure and dynamics of hard and soft materials over length scales ranging from the atomic to the mesoscopic, 1 to 105 Å, and over energy transfers from 10−9 to 1 eV (NRC, 1984; BESAC, 1993, 1994, 1998; European Science Foundation, 1996; Finney et al. 1997; OECD, 1998; Richter and Springer, 1998). The relative advantages of reactor-based and spallation neutron sources depend on the application. Intense, steady beams of neutrons emerge from reactors; if the neutrons must be separated by energy to make a measurement, most are discarded. Short pulses of neutrons are produced by spallation sources, most of which can be captured by time-of-flight methods. Because the number of neutrons detected is the basis of most measurements, each technique has advantages and disadvantages. Reactor sources are superior for most SANS research and for diffraction or spectroscopy requiring a limited range of momentum transfer and energy transfer (e.g., triple-axis spectrometers). Spallation sources are superior for high-resolution powder diffraction over an extended range of momentum transfer and in extreme environments; for one-shot elastic scattering measurements, such as on samples undergoing irreversible changes in response to perturbations; and for surveys of scattering over a wide range of momentum and energy transfer. Spallation sources are also superior for applications using epithermal neutrons (> 100 meV).
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields FIGURE 2.2 Number of users by field at the NIST CNR in 1990 and 1998. Total users: 265 in 1990 and 850 in 1998. The term “users” counts on-site researchers who conduct experiments at facilities. An individual is counted as one user (per facility annually) regardless of the number of visits in a year. SOURCE: Information supplied to the committee by Jack Rush, NISTCNR, on May 4, 1999. Trends in the Neutron Source User Community During the 1990s, the neutron user community in the United States grew both in absolute numbers and in the diversity of scientific disciplines. Approximately half of the neutron researchers use the four DOE facilities and half use the NIST facility.8 The experience of NIST’s Center for Neutron Research, which is the only U.S. source of cold neutrons, is a good predictor of the growth profile for the user community as a whole. As shown in Figure 2.2, at NIST the number of participants grew from 265 (including 60 students) in 1990 to 850 (including 270 students) in 1998—an overall increase of 220%. The composition of the user community also changed significantly over that period. Use by materials scientists, which grew by more than a factor of two in absolute numbers from 1990 to 1998, remained a nearly constant fraction of the users at roughly 15%. Use by scientists doing macromolecular research, which grew by more than a factor of three over this period, increased slightly in fractional terms—from 27% to 30%. The number of scientists doing biological work increased by a factor of 10, from 8 The total user figures are provided in Figures Figure 2.2 and Figure 2.3. For 1997, the users at NIST’s CNR were roughly as numerous as those at the DOE facilities. However, as noted in Table 1.1, the number of users at DOE neutron facilities declined significantly in 1998.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields a very few researchers (3%) to 10% of the total usage. Use by the physics community, which doubled in absolute numbers, decreased in fractional terms.910 FIGURE 2.3 Number of users by field at the IPNS, LANSCE, HFBR, and HFIR in 1990 and 1997. Total users: 475 in 1990 and 810 in 1997. The term “users” counts on-site researchers who conduct experiments at facilities. An individual is counted as one user (per facility annually) regardless of number of visits in a year. SOURCE: Information supplied to the committee by DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences on June 10, 1999. Similar growth was observed in the user communities of the DOE facilities before LANSCE and HFIR were closed for upgrades and HFBR was shut down (Figure 2.3). From FY 1990 to FY 1997, the number of users at neutron sources grew from 475 to 810. The number of materials scientists increased by 20% between 1990 and 1997 (from 304 to 368) and accounted for nearly half the total users in 1997. The number of users in other sciences increased by a factor of over 2.5 to constitute over half the total users in 1997. Part of the difference in distribution between the DOE facilities and NIST comes from the different classification schemes—soft polymers are classified as macromolecules at NIST and as materials at the DOE facilities—and part comes from the existence of the cold neutron facility at NIST, which has attracted users from many nontraditional fields. While comparable data do not exist for U.S. facilities, the European Neutron Scattering Association survey of the European user community noted that the 9 Macromolecular research includes polymer, colloid, and complex fluid studies. 10 Personal communication from J.M. Rowe, director, NIST Center for Neutron Research, May 3, 1999.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields 3.6% of users from the life sciences use 10% of the neutron beam time in Europe.11 The survey also found that more than one-half of the users consider use of neutron beams to constitute less than 50% of their research programs (ENSA, 1998). HIGH-MAGNETIC-FIELD FACILITIES Snapshot of Current Facilities and Planned Upgrades The United States has only one national high-magnetic-field user facility, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). Support for the first national user facility, at the Francis Bitter Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), originally came from the U.S. Air Force in 1960. Project support was shifted to the NSF in 1973, but the facility remained at the Francis Bitter Laboratory until 1995. In 1990 the NSF established the NHMFL. The NHMFL is managed by a consortium of two state universities and one national laboratory, and it is funded by the state of Florida and by the NSF. Today the NHMFL is a worldwide leader in available power, magnetic field strength, and magnet design. Both continuous and pulsed high magnetic fields are needed in high-magnetic-field research. Continuous high magnetic fields require large power sources to generate steady high-intensity magnetic fields. There are 10 such facilities in the world: six in Europe, three in Asia, and one (NHMFL) in the United States. The U.S. laboratory has the largest power source (40 MW). The next largest (24 MW) is in France, and a new 24-MW laboratory is under development in the Netherlands. Because of its larger power supply, the U.S. facility generates the strongest continuous magnetic field now available in the world. Pulsed magnets can provide higher peak fields than steady-state magnets because pulsed magnets do not need continuous cooling. Pulsed fields extract energy from a power source to produce an intense magnetic field in a coil for a limited amount of time. Even with modest energy sources, intense peak fields can be generated if the pulse duration time and coil volume (peak field ~ energy/time × volume) are limited. To be useful for experimentation, it is important that the pulse sustain peak values of 50 T or greater in a volume greater than 1 cm3 with times at peak greater than 1 ms. Attainment of such parameters requires dedicated facilities because the energy source required is large and because of the safety issues associated with the rapid discharge of so much energy into a small volume. For pulsed fields in this range of parameters, there are nine facilities in Europe, four facilities in Japan, and three in the United States (at the NHMFL, Lucent Technologies Laboratory, and Clark University). The largest U.S. facility is at the 11 Presentation to the committee by Alan Leadbetter, November 1998.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields NHMFL, where a motor and generator system capable of providing 560 MW and 600 MJ is available to drive magnet systems. Due to the size of the power supply, the U.S. facility is the only one capable of producing 100-ms pulses at field strengths of 60 T. A magnet that will deliver millisecond pulses of up to 100 T is under development. Future advances in the generation of continuous and pulsed high magnetic fields may be limited by the stress limitations of the materials used in magnet construction. Seven of the continuous field facilities are developing hybrid superconducting-resistive magnet systems that will push to the highest possible steady magnetic fields. The U.S. facility should again achieve the highest continuous magnetic field (45 T) once construction of its hybrid is completed. Trends in the Scientific Applications of High Magnetic Fields There are two broad areas of magnetic field research: research in producing high magnetic fields and research using high magnetic fields. Research in producing high magnetic fields is needed to generate even higher field magnets, because the highest magnetic fields must be produced with resistive magnets that push the stress limits of materials used in magnet construction. Research in producing high magnetic fields has led to improved understanding of metals, superconductors, semiconductors, organic conductors, and magnetic materials. Research using high magnetic fields is expanding to include materials sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental research. High-magnetic-field research is providing new insights into chemical and biological “materials” for medicine (synthesis of new drugs), biology (structure of large molecules), and environmental science (surface reactions and study of remediation pathways). Other developing areas of research with high magnetic fields include energy storage and power conditioning for utility applications; plasma confinement for new energy sources; magnetic levitation for high- and low-speed transportation; large motors for industrial use and ship propulsion; medical diagnostic systems (magnetic resonance imaging); materials characterization systems; materials growth and processing; and magnetic separation. Research with high magnetic fields has led to the development of magnetic resonance imaging for medical purposes and of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for chemistry and biochemistry. The development of these techniques has relied on the development of advanced magnet materials and on the design and construction of large high-field magnets. Pushing the science and technology of magnetic fields to the extremes —where the science suggests new discoveries will be made—requires a dedicated center with the specialized talent and equipment to build, maintain, and operate the facility and where user support is provided and education on the benefits of high-magnetic-field research is offered. There is growing interest in NMR, ion cyclotron resonance mass spectros-
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields copy (ICRMS), and electron magnetic resonance (EMR) spectroscopy in high magnetic fields in order to acquire greater resolution and enhanced spectral sensitivity. Enhanced spectral sensitivity means that the time required to obtain a spectrum of a given sensitivity will be shortened. Advances in NMR probes and data acquisition systems, along with higher-field NMR systems, are also leading to large sensitivity increases. These increased sensitivities permit larger molecules to be studied, which is important to the biological and chemical sciences. High-magnetic-field NMR systems are expensive, primarily because of the cost of the magnet system. A 750-MHz NMR spectrometer, which is roughly the current state of the art, costs about $2 million and uses a 17.5-T magnet with a stored energy of about 5 MJ. NMR systems operating at 900 MHz are under development. They will require magnetic fields of 21 T with a stored energy of about 35 MJ and cost about $5 million to $8 million. NMR systems of 1,000 MHz will require magnetic fields of about 24 T with stored energies approaching 40 to 70 MJ and costing $10 million to $15 million. Thus the cost, design complexity, and safety issues surrounding such instruments suggest that facility-type operation may be appropriate for them, although the low throughput characteristic of NMR spectrometers raises questions about their suitability as general user instruments. At present the NHMFL operates 15 high-magnetic-field NMR systems. Trends in the High-Magnetic-Field Facility User Community Because NHMFL has only been in existence since 1995, long-term user trends do not exist. However, between 1995 and 1998 the number of users increased from 175 to 300 (Table 1.1).12 Demographic analyses show that the largest usage is in the materials science disciplines, but significant growth in biological and chemical areas occurred from 1995 to 1998.13 Although this trend is expected to continue as both low- and high-resolution high-field NMR, ICRMS, and EMR studies grow in importance, it may be better to conduct low-throughput activities elsewhere rather than at a user facility. A peer review process regulates user access to the facility. At present, the waiting time for quality proposals is short and meets the requirements of scientific researchers. COMMON THEMES AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR USER FACILITY MANAGEMENT The above discussion shows that the situation at the high-magnetic-field user facility differs from that at the synchrotron and neutron user facilities: the NHMFL 12 Presentation and materials provided to the committee by B. Brandt, NHMFL, September 1998. 13 The number of biological users of the NHMFL increased from 7 users in 1995 (4% of total users) to 29 users in 1998 (10%). Chemistry users doubled from 11 in 1995 (6% of total users) to 22 in 1998 (8%).
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields facility appears to be able to adequately meet user needs for the foreseeable future, whereas synchrotron and neutron facilities do not appear to be able to adequately meet their user needs. Accordingly, the following discussion of common themes focuses largely on the needs of the synchrotron and neutron facilities. Funding Issues Stresses resulting from funding inadequacies are a major concern to both the synchrotron and neutron communities. In the case of synchrotrons, the growth in size of the user community has given rise to pressures for access to beam time: demand for beam time for approved proposals exceeds available time by a factor of approximately two (Structural Biology Synchrotron Users Organization, 1997), although planned beamline construction at existing facilities will likely moderate this pressure in the near term (OSTP, 1999). In the case of neutrons, stresses arise from the limited supply of neutrons in the United States, especially cold neutrons, and from the gross inadequacy of available instrumentation, as has been pointed out in several studies (BESAC, 1993, 1997). However, the planned construction of the SNS and upgrades at LANSCE are likely to moderate pressures arising from the limited supply of neutrons in the near term. The dramatic growth in the number and size of the facilities and facility user communities exacerbates the problem these facilities have with the inadequacy of their annual operating funds. This problem, which has been stressed in numerous previous reports (BESAC, 1997, 1998; Structural Biology Synchrotron Users Organization, 1997; BERAC, 1998; OSTP, 1999), was emphasized by all the DOE facility directors who appeared before the committee (see Appendix C). This concern was also the impetus for the DOE Scientific Facilities Initiative of 1996,14 which provided financial support for the facilities above their appropriated levels. Because of this inadequate direct facility funding, alternative stable sources of facility support must be sought. User Support Issues The increasing number of facility users who are not experts in facility technologies is another source of stress for the facilities. While user scientific disciplines have broadened dramatically in the last 10 years in all three types of user facilities (Figures Figure 2.1, Figure 2.2, and Figure 2.3), the trend is most notable in the synchrotron 14 In 1996 DOE’s Basic Energy Sciencies Division, the steward of most of the user facilities, received an increase of some $57 million for the facilities, a substantial fraction of which went into facility operating budgets. A smaller portion was used to upgrade experimental instrumentation and to fund competitive research proposals. The resulting higher funding level was continued annually. Iran Thomas, DOE, personal communication, June 1999.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields facilities, where in 1998, 30% of the users came from the biological community. Typically, these “new” scientist users view the facilities as providing useful data that are, nevertheless, only a small part of their research programs. The rapid growth of this inexperienced user community has several implications for facility management. First, there must be adequate staff to assist these users in setting up and running experiments to maximize efficient use of beam time. Education and training courses are needed to educate these users about the facility capabilities and relevance to user scientific problems. In addition, on-site ancillary facilities, such as wet laboratories and cold rooms, are needed by many members of emerging user communities, particularly structural biologists, chemists, and materials scientists working with soft materials. The contrast between the excellence of these ancillary facilities at NIST and their condition at the DOE neutron facilities is striking. Finally, equipping and adequately staffing new beamlines dedicated to high-demand experiments, such as protein crystallography, would minimize setup time and optimize beam usage. Educational offerings for new users, as well as refresher courses for more experienced users, are important components of user support. Neutron, synchrotron, and combined neutron/x-ray-scattering short courses, workshops, and summer schools have been very successful in Europe and at NIST in the United States. Several DOE facilities are jointly offering a combined neutron/x-ray summer school at Argonne National Laboratory beginning in 1999.15 Teleconferencing and World Wide Web supplementary materials can expand the audience for such schools and enhance participant experiences. Management Issues The increasing diversity of the user community may also lead to a mismatch between the mission of the steward and the interests of the user communities, which in the case of its biological component is supported mainly by NIH. In some cases this mismatch can be managed by placing responsibility at a higher (more generic) level in the steward agency. In other cases a transfer of stewardship to an agency with a mission more congruent with the user facility’s dominant scientific program may be appropriate. Conversely, a potential agency may not have the culture or experience to operate a large facility. In any event, mechanisms for closer interagency cooperation are needed to make such decisions and to allocate responsibilities for funding of facility capital improvement and operating expenses. 15 These courses are funded by grants from DOE.
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COOPERATIVE STEWARDSHIP: Managing the Nation’s Multidisciplinary User Facilities for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons, and High Magnetic Fields Legal Issues Legal issues of concern involve user agreements and intellectual property rights. The former range from simple to onerous and vary depending on whether the research is proprietary and the facility at which the research in conducted. Simplifying and standardizing the user agreements could alleviate some of this concern. Intellectual property rights issues significantly affect facility usage, and the committee wishes to bring attention to these concerns. These themes and their implications for user facility management are developed further in the following chapters.
Representative terms from entire chapter: