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The following guidelines are for users who wish to apply for beamtime on the I11 facility (EH2) for long duration experiments.
These experiments require a long term commitment of significant resources from both users and beamline staff alike for the development (design, implementation and maintenance), operation and data reduction (and potentially analysis). As such, LDE are run as collaborative projects between users and beamline staff
In terms of duration, conception, delivery, data acquisition and logistics, LDEs are quite different from those of standard proposals. Users should discuss their ideas with beamline staff and refer to the Technical Details before considering a beamtime application (link to application template at bottom of this page).
The key points and technical protocols for LDEs are as follows:
Users should also consult the guidelines for submitting proposals as for standard non-proprietary applications. LDE applications must be submitted via the UAS. A template for the six-month experimental report and justification for continuation of the LDE is also available in the UAS. Users intending to perform proprietary work should contact our Industrial Services.
Key stages of beamtime application
The keys stages to make an LDE application and for ongoing LDEs are shown schematically below.
The technical ratings (combining the design, construction and commissioning effort) are described in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1 - Key stages of new LDE applications from conception to delivery (blue path) and ongoing LDEs (green path)
All applications will be technically assessed and rated prior to peer review.. The table below summarises the rating, description and estimated delivery time.
Table 1. Technical rating and the estimated time required to start a new experiment (delivery time)
Delivery time (months)
Easy - small amount of design effort should be needed, commissioning should be straightforward, or user’s own (working) cell requiring interfacing
Easy/difficult - some design effort, beamline team to assemble and commission the cell
Difficult - design effort, beamline staff to construct and commission the cell
Very difficult - significant design effort, construct and commissioning of the cell, may involve some research effort
Challenging - major design, construction effort and long lead time, research and also major commissioning
Unlikely to be successful
The starting date for each approved LDE depends on the complexity of the sample environment ranging from one or two months (A) to 9 months or more (E). The official start date of an experiment will be when agreed specific experimental conditions are achieved.
For those LDEs that have been running for six months or more, the PI is required to submit a report showing the progress and results so far to justify their continuation in the next PRP meeting, irrespective of an LDE’s original proposed duration.
Suitability of Proposed Experiments
In contrast to the ultra-high resolution (MAC) and time-resolved (PSD) capability of EH1, the LDE facility is a medium resolution instrument (Δd/d ~ 10-3-10-4) and is useful to track or monitor significant changes in materials of interest, such as phase change and development, texture evolution and structural integrity/stability due to aging or non-ambient conditions (chemical corrosion, thermal and electrical cycling, etc.)
However, With its poor contrast (no detector collimation), it is unsuitable for measuring tiny effects or subtle changes such as small lattice parameter changes, low phase concentration and profile analysis for micro-structural details.
Here are a few LDE examples which have been successfully implemented and are currently running in I11 EH2.
The application template can be downloaded from UAS. Included in the application are the usual sections (abstract, scientific detail, results expected, etc.).
Two final pieces of advice:
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