Berkeley National Lab Will Make 100 Times Brighter Beams at Key Energies,

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the DOE are upgrading the Advanced Light Source (ALS). The combination of the accumulator ring and upgraded main storage ring will enable at least 100 times brighter beams at key energies, and will make the beams more laser-like by enhancing a property known as coherence. This will make it possible to reveal nanometer-scale features of samples, and to observe chemical processes and the function of materials in real time.

They will start to start building a new inner electron storage ring. It will be an accumulator ring. This inner ring will feed the upgraded facility’s main light-producing storage ring, and is a part of the upgrade project (ALS-U).

The ALS produces ultrabright light over a range of wavelengths, from infrared to high-energy X-rays, by accelerating electrons to nearly the speed of light and guiding them along a circular path.

Powerful arrays of magnets bend the beam of electrons, causing it to emit light that is channeled down dozens of beamlines for experiments in a wide range of scientific areas – from physics, medicine, and chemistry to biology and geology.

The upgrade project will replace the existing main storage ring with a next-generation storage ring that will reduce the size of the light beams at their source from around 100 microns (millionths of a meter) to below 10 microns.

Illustration shows components of the accumulator ring (top) and new storage ring (bottom) that will be installed as a part of the ALS-U project. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Today, electrons at the ALS are first accelerated by a linear (straight) accelerator and a booster ring before they are transferred to the storage ring that feeds light to the beamlines. After the upgrade, electrons from the booster ring will instead go to the accumulator ring, which will reduce the size and spread of the electron beam and accumulate multiple batches or “injections” of electron bunches from the booster ring before transferring bunches to the storage ring.