[ M_R_C_A_T ] The Materials Research
Collaborative Access Team

This is the home page for the The Materials Research Collaborative Access Team (MRCAT), a multiple-institution consortium for building and operating x-ray beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source .

Mail-in operations

As of October 1, 2021 it is possible to have up to 2 users on site for an experiment. In order to obtain authorization for on-site experiments you will need to submit an ESAF at least 3 weeks in advance and make a request for on-site access. Any users who come on site will have to submit an on-site user request form for approval by the DOE. Every user coming to the APS must conform to all ANL COVID-19 protocols and complete the APS COVID training.

Mail-in experiments continue to be available and we suggest that you consult our detailed mail-in information to learn how to prepare samples for this kind of experiment. In general, MRCAT Staff will be running your mail-in experiment but under certain circumstances, it may be possible for you to operate the beamline remotely as well. Please consult the MRCAT remote operations instructions and discuss this with your assigned user support staff member.

MRCAT Research

Instrumentation and capabilities

Research highlights

Partnership with the Advanced Test Reactor

MRCAT is a partner institution to the Nuclear Scientific User Facility.
Technical Contact: Jeff Terry <terryj [at] iit.edu>

MRCAT publications

Search the APS Publication Database for Sector 10 publications.

Acknowledgement and citations

All publications resulting from experiments performed at MRCAT are required to include the acknowledgement:

MRCAT operations are supported by the Department of Energy and the MRCAT member institutions. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

We request that any publication resulting from work done at MRCAT be added to The APS Publications Database.

Please consider citing the following references for the MRCAT beamlines in your manuscripts:

Insertion Device line
"The MRCAT Insertion Device Beamline at the Advanced Photon Source", C.U. Segre, N.E. Leyarovska, L.D. Chapman, W.M. Lavender, P.W. Plag, A.S. King, A.J. Kropf, B.A. Bunker, K.M. Kemner, P. Dutta, R.S. Duran and J. Kaduk, CP521, Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation: Eleventh U.S. National Conference, ed. P. Pianetta, et al., p419-422, (American Insitute of Physics, New York, 2000).

Bending Magnet line
"The new MRCAT (Sector 10) Bending Magnet beamline at the Advanced Photon Source", A.J. Kropf, J. Katsoudas, S. Chattopadhyay, T. Shibata, E.A. Lang, V.N. Zyryanov, B. Ravel, K. McIvor, K.M. Kemner, K.G. Scheckel, S.R. Bare, J. Terry, S.D. Kelly, B.A. Bunker, and C.U. Segre, AIP Conference Proceedings 1234, 299-302 (2010).

Getting beam time at MRCAT

MRCAT general user access

MRCAT awards 25% of available beam time to General User proposals submitted through the APS General User Proposal System. Please feel free to contact us to discuss MRCAT's suitability for your experiments and for advice with your proposal.

MRCAT scientific staff

Carlo Segre —  Operations Manager <segre [at] iit.edu>
Joshua Wright —  Primary ID line contact <jwrigh10 [at] iit.edu>
Mark Warren —  Primary BM line contact <mwarren3 [at] hawk.iit.edu>
Yujia Ding —  Sector scientist <yding12 [at] hawk.iit.edu>
Kamil Kucuk —  Sector intern <kkucuk [at] hawk.iit.edu>

Beamline phone numbers:

   630.252.1710 (ID)    630.252.6792 (BM)    630.252.0342(LOM)

Using beam time at MRCAT

Beam time schedules

Once you have been awarded beam time at MRCAT you can use the APS Scheduling System to keep track of your experiment start and end dates and the MRCAT staff member who will support your experiment. Just go to the "View/Edit Schedule" tab and select the run and the beamline you are interested in viewing.

Safety policies

Online experimental safety forms
We ask that ESAF's be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the experiment in order to give sufficient time for evaluation.
Posting safety forms
Active ESAFs may be posted only by authorized MRCAT staff. Log in and search on the badge number of the experimenter, the sector (10), the approval status (Approved) and any other criteria you wish. Select the desired ESAF and press the "Generate Report" button. After printing, have the On site PI for the experiment sign, then give the ESAF to your MRCAT support to sign and have posted by the Floor Coordinator.
APS safety information
All MRCAT Users must follow APS safety guidelines. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with APS procedures. If you have any questions, please contact Carlo Segre <segre [at] iit.edu>, MRCAT Safety Coordinator or your assigned support staff member.
APS electrical equipment inspection
MRCAT provides standard ion chamber detectors and multielement solid state detectors and electronics. All MRCAT users bringing their own electrical equipment to the beamline need to arrange to have it inspected by the APS. This request can be submitted at the bottom link on the page referenced above.
MRCAT glovebox standard operating procedure

Glove box access

The Sector 10 oxygen-free glove box is available for use by MRCAT users asn well as other trained users. To schedule use of the glovebox, email Yujia Ding <yding12 [at] hawk.iit.edu>. Priority is given to users with scheduled beam time at MRCAT to request use of the glovebox in a two week window once the beamtime schedule is finalized. Once this two week period has lapsed, glove box requests will be extended to non-MRCAT users.

Ordering Gases or other specialized supplies

MRCAT provides users with standard sample holders, sample preparation supplies, and gases. If you need to order specialized gases or other supplies which are not normal beamline stock, you will need to set up a user account and purchase them through the Argonne purchasing system. See the Policy for establishing User Accounts.

Useful reference material and software

Absorption edge reference spectra

Ti   V   Cr   Mn   Fe   Co   Ni   Cu   Zn   Ge   Zr   Nb   Mo   Pd   Ag   Ta   Pt   Au


Demeter — X-ray absorption spectroscopy processing software used at the MRCAT beamlines.

WinSCP — Use to copy data from MRCAT computers to your Windows computer with the SCP protocol. Please connect to sentinel.mr.aps.anl.gov to transfer your data.

TigerVNC — Use to connect to the beamline control computer desktop. Requires local user to start x11vnc -display :0 and an ssh tunnel to connect from outside the APS network.

X2Go — Use to operate beamline remotely with a new X11 desktop. Does not connect to the beamline control computer console.

X-ray resources at Illinois Tech

Farrel Lytle XAFS Database
Mucal periodic table — McMaster X-ray data
Mucal on the Web — McMaster X-ray data
UCRL-50174: Compilation of X-Ray Cross Sections, W.H. McMaster et al.
Section Description
1 Methodology
2 Cross Sections
3 Supporting Data
4 Cross Sections at Energies Useful to Crystallographers

Other synchrotron and X-ray resources

Advanced Photon Source
APS Beamlines Directory
Center for X-Ray Optics
X-Ray WWW Server
Bruce Ravel's EXAFS Software
The FEFF Project
Synchrotron labs around the world

MRCAT people

Executive Committee and Institutional Membership

MRCAT is a partnership of Illinois Institute of Technology, Argonne National Laboratory Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory Biosciences/Environmental Research, the Environmental Protection Agency, BP, and Honeywell/UOP. Each institutional member has a seat on the MRCAT Executive Committee, which is responsible for the operation of the CAT. The Executive Committee members are:

Interim Director:
     Carlo Segre  —  Illinois Institute of Technology
Executive Committee Members:
     John Mowat  —  Honeywell
     Ken Kemner  —  ANL Biosciences
     Jeremy Kropf  —  ANL Chemical Sciences & Engineering
     Eric Doskocil  —  BP
     Todd Luxton  —  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Staff Members

The MRCAT staff is responsible for developing and maintaining the experimental facilities at the MRCAT sector. The Beamline Scientists are also responsible for user support at MRCAT. The staff can be reached at APS Sector 10, Bldg. 433, ID beamline: (630.252.1710), BM beamline: (630.252.6792), LOM: (630.252.0342).

     Joshua Wright  —  Beamline Scientist
     Yujia Ding  —  Beamline Scientist
     Otavio Marques  —  Beamline Intern
     Al Kwiatkowski  —  System Administrator
     Bill Lavender  —  Software Specialist

Contact Information

Prof. Carlo Segre
Department of Physics & CSRRI
Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago, IL 60616
+1.312.567.3498 (voice); +1.312.567.3494 (FAX)
segre [at] iit.edu (e-mail)

Please send mail to Al Kwiatkowski <akwiatko [at] iit.edu> to report problems with this server.

Last modified 09/21/2021