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ISSN: 1600-5775

Singapore synchrotron completes its first year of routine operation

The Singapore Synchrotron Light Source (SSLS) building project was approved in 1997. In 1999 the building was completed and the Helios 2 storage ring moved into place, and in 2000 the accelerator system was commissioned and beamline construction began. In October 2001, user pilot operation started with a phase-contrast imaging beamline (PCI). A micro/nanofabrication facility (LiMiNT), a soft X-ray facility for surface, interface and nanoscience (SINS), and the X-ray development and demonstration beamline (XDD) were added. Routine user operation was achieved by 2003. A beamline for infrared spectro/microscopy (ISMI) will be ready soon.[link]

[Figure 1]
Figure 1
Top: SSLS building on the campus of the National University of Singapore. Bottom: Helios 2 storage ring inside the shielding vault.

SSLS is developing the general-purpose synchrotron light source capability of the compact superconducting storage ring Helios 2, which was manufactured by Oxford Instruments in close collaboration with Daresbury Laboratory in the early 1990s for the computer-chip-making industry. 700 MeV electrons orbiting through 4.5 T dipoles produce a very useful spectrum from about 10 keV to the far infrared. Several beamlines have come into routine operation and include the SINS (surface, nanostructures and interface science, see photograph below[link]) and the XDD (X-ray development and demonstration) beamlines. XDD has been used for example in demonstrating the high quality of K-edge XAFS of a thin Cu plate on Si. With photoemission spectroscopy, X-ray magnetic circular dichroism and X-ray absorption fine-structure spectroscopy from 50 eV to 1.2 keV, SINS is extensively used for thin-film and nanostructures characterization for such fields as magnetic data storage and self-assembly-based nanomanufacturing. Forthcoming in situ scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy (STM/AFM) will enhance its competitive edge. Like all national synchrotron radiation facilities the SSLS user community has grown, from a few to almost 100 in a brief period.

[Figure 2]
Figure 2
SINS beamline at SSLS.


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