Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

New Science with the APS Superconducting Undulator


New Science with the APS Superconducting Undulator From Nature Materials: A diffraction pattern obtained using x-rays from the new Advanced Photon Source (APS) superconducting undulator is the cover image of Nature Materials, August 2013, Volume 12.

The pattern is from one of a new family of magnetic binary icosahedral quasicrystals discovered by researchers from Ames Laboratory carrying out studies at X-ray Science Division insertion device beamline 6-ID-D at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s APS at Argonne.

The superconducting undulator is a key technology in the upgrade of the APS, which “will increase the brightness of the APS high-energy (hard) x-ray beams. This will equip researchers for the groundbreaking discoveries and transformational innovations that create new products and industries and generate jobs.”

The quasicrystal study is the subject of a Nature Materials Letter entitled, “A family of binary magnetic icosahedral quasicrystals based on rare earths and cadmium,” Nat. Mater. 12, 714 (2013). DOI:10.1038/nmat3672; the subject of the Nature Materials News & Views article, “Quasicrystals: Model structures,” by Marc de Boissieu, which can be read here; and the APS science and research highlight found here.

The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is one of five national synchrotron radiation light sources supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to carry out applied and basic research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels, provide the foundations for new energy technologies, and support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. To learn more about the Office of Science x-ray user facilities, visit

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