Welcome to the Functional Materials Beamline (FMB) at MSN-C

The Functional Materials Beamline at CHESS, located at hutch ID3B, provides synchrotron-based x-ray scattering and imaging techniques to study manufacturing processes and properties of modern structural and functional materials. FMB delivers x-rays at four discrete energies ranging from 9.7 keV to 22 keV, making it especially suitable for the study of lightweight materials. Areas of interest include 3D printing of polymer composites and thin films. FMB's partner beamline, the Structural Materials Beamline (SMB), was built to operate at higher energies (40-200 keV) and focuses on higher density materials, especially metals.

FMB Users

Useful beamline commands: FMB cheat sheet

Beamline software tools

Beamline Description

FMB is fed by synchrotron radiation from a 1.5 m Chess Compact Undulator (CCU), which is then directed at a novel, custom-designed side-bounce monochromator system, consisting of four separate diamond single crystals. These crystals are prealigned to the (111), (220), (311), and (400) Bragg Peaks, with the result that each crystal selects a different energy at a fixed diffraction angle of 36°: 9.73, 15.9, 18.65, and 22.5 keV, respectively.
Diamond mono Energy (keV) Flux (2x5 mm, CESR current 100 mA) Special properties
111 9.7 3.5e12 CRL focusing (typical): 2 µm vertical x 13 µm horiztonal
Mirror focusing (vertical only): from >1 mm unfocused to <100 µm
220 15.9 1e13 Large beam available for full field imaging (≥2x2 mm^2 )
311 18.6 (not recorded) Large beam available for full field imaging (≥2x2 mm^2 )
400 22.5 5e12 Large beam available for full field imaging (≥2x2 mm^2 )
Inside the hutch, the upstream flight path, sample area, and detector table (pictured below) are treated as modular components, enabling a highly flexible configuration. Specifically:
  • The Upstream Flightpath (right) houses slits and ion chambers, and can switch between a Compound-Refractive-Lens (CRL) based setup for focused beam applications such as scan-probe SAXS/WAXS, and a standard setup with collimating and guard slits for bulk SAXS/WAXS or full-field imaging.
  • Sample Environments (middle): a flexible area that can be altered to accomdate various samples, sample degrees of freedom, and/or sample environments. FMB has hosted a wide range of in-situ user experiments, including:
    • Linkam heating and tensile stages
    • Diamond anvil cell
    • 3D printer with commercial heated print head and custom, CHESS-designed heated copper bed
    • User-built systems including autonomous solution mixing, rheology capillaries, microfluidic pumps, and in-situ laser annealing
  • Downstream (left): Where the detectors are placed. Can be adjusted based on what is desired from the x-rays, defined by the experiment: Full-field, Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS)


Data collection modes

Mode Availability Access
For dynamic experiments
Preferred in-person
Microprobe SAXS/WAXS Yes Remote or in-person
GISAXS/GIWAXS Not currently planned n/a
Full-field imaging Yes
Radiography (movies)
Tomography is not standard
Preferred in-person
sin2psi In development Remote possible, in-person preferred

Primary modes: image collection

FMB is optimized to gather spatially-resolved information about a sample on the micron-scale. Such information is used to create images. From an experimental point of view, there are two very different approaches to creating such images: Full-Field and Scan-Probe methods.
  • Full-Field images are collected in parallel, i.e. using a 2D detector placed downstream of the sample, and with a beam that simultaneously illuminates the whole field of view of an image. Such methods include traditional X-ray Radiography and phase-contrast imaging (PCI).
  • In contrast to full-field tecniques, Scan-Probe images are created by sweeping a sample in 2D through a small or focused x-ray beam. In this case, the size of the x-ray beam determines the spatial resolution of the sample. FMB offers spatially resolved SAXS/WAXS in a scan-probe mode.

Other modes

FMB can also collect bulk or micro-beam scattering (SAXS/WAXS) data during in-situ sample treatment (e.g. heating, stretching, compression).

We are developing a capability for depth-resolved residual strain measurements (sin^2 psi mapping) that takes advantage of our monochromator's relatively fast energy changes.

FMB does not typically award beamtime for single/bulk SAXS/WAXS or radiography snapshots that could be accomplished with a lab source.

GISAXS and GIWAXS are not currently supported at FMB.

Access mode

FMB is supported by the Air Force Research Lab, and beamtime allocaation prioritizes projects of interest to AFRL, the Department of Defense, and their Original Equipment Manufacturers. Academic users can be awarded beamtime if they are affiliated with or funded by any of these groups, or if their research is of interest to AFRL and their partners.

Please contact the FMB beamline scientist (Louisa Smieska, or the MSN-C director (Arthur Woll, before submitting a proposal or beamtime request to FMB.

Proposals are submitted through the usual CHESS user portal:

Remote and in-person operations

Please see the current CHESS user guide for the most up to date information on CHESS' operating status:

FMB can support both remote and in-person experiments. FMB's primary remote experiment is ex-situ scan-probe SAXS/WAXS. Most in-situ experiments are best performed in-person.

Users who are part of the residential Cornell community may be able to visit CHESS in person, but arrangements must be made in advance. Please do not come to Wilson Lab unless you have recieved confirmation that your visit is expected.

Web Utilities

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
FMB_Beamline.pngpng FMB_Beamline.png manage 450 K 30 Jun 2020 - 14:15 UnknownUser  
MSN-C-3D.jpgjpg MSN-C-3D.jpg manage 71 K 03 Jul 2020 - 12:14 ArthurWoll  
MSN-C-VR-FMB.jpgjpg MSN-C-VR-FMB.jpg manage 379 K 03 Jul 2020 - 14:33 ArthurWoll  
ScanTimeEstimator.xlsxxlsx ScanTimeEstimator.xlsx manage 9 K 23 Feb 2022 - 15:27 LouisaSmieska  
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Topic revision: 11 May 2022, LouisaSmieska
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