Using Synchotron Radiation at the Advanced Light Source (LBNL)


Using Synchotron Radiation at the Advanced Light Source (LBNL) to Probe Polymer Structures, Morphologies and Dynamics

Ahmet Kusoglu, Alex Hexemer, and Adam Weber

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

This special event has three speakers from LBNL on topics related to the Advanced Light Source (ALS) including fundamentals of the techniqiue for applications to polymer analytical work, user opportunities at the ALS, and a detailed technical example. Come and see how you can use synchrotron radiation for your polymer analyses.


The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a Department of Energy User Facility which is available for use by companies and academics. A brief description of how to access the facilities will be provided. The capabilities of synchrotron x-rays available at the ALS will be highlighted including scattering, resonance, and associated spectroscopies, using the specific example of Nafion to illustrate the possibilities.

Perfluorosulfonic-acid (PFSA) membranes are the most widely studied ionomer for proton-exchange-membrane-fuel-cell applications, with Nafion® still considered to be the benchmark material. Its exceptional proton conductivity along with good thermo-mechanical stability make it suitable for most electrochemical devices. The performance of a fuel-cell membrane is controlled by its transport properties and sorption behavior, which are strongly correlated through the interactions between chemical structure and morphology. In this talk, our recent work on Nafion's morphology, nature, and impact of interfacial phenomena including substrate confinement effects will be discussed for both steady-state and dynamic operation. A key focus area is understanding the universal chemical mechanical energy balance and the impact of the interface in allowing water into the membrane. In addition, the properties of Nafion thin films within catalyst layers will be examine, where confinement effects and strong substrate interactions occur. In particular, time-resolved, small- and wide-angle Grazing-Incidence X-Ray Scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS) is employed to study the nanostructural changes in Nafion thin films due to hydration, substrate, and casting conditions. Furthermore, swelling and water-uptake behavior of the films are correlated to the hydration0induced morphological changes.

Speaker Background


Alexander Hexemer holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from Mainz University. His Masters thesis was in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Science. He earned his PhD in Materials Science under the guidance of Prof. Ed Kramer. Dr. Hexemer joined the Advanced Light Source at LBNL as a PostDoc to develop a Small and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering beamline. He was awarded an outstanding performance award by the lab for building the beamline and became a beamline scientist. He has authored over 85 peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from copolymer ordering to the development of high performance computing algorithms on super computers. He is part of the international organizing committee for the synchrotron radiation in polymer science meeting and the GISAS meeting. In 2013 he received a DOE early career award for his proposal for a Light Source Toolkit.

Ahmet Kusoglu has recently completed his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware. He graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, in 2004 and received his B.S. degree with Honors in Mechanical Engineering. His PhD research has focused on hygro-thermo-mechanical behavior of membrane electrolyte assembly in PEM fuel cells and structure-property relationship in ionomer membranes. His research interests are durability and water transport in fuel cells, computational methods, solid mechanics and thermodynamics.

Adam Z. Weber holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tufts University, the latter under the guidance of Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos. He earned his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley in chemical engineering under the guidance of John Newman. Dr. Weber continued his study of water and thermal management in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is now a staff scientist. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and 9 book chapters on fuel cells, flow batteries, and related electrochemical devices. He is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Australia, the 2008 Oronzio and Niccolò De Nora Foundation Prize on Applied Electrochemistry of the International Society of Electrochemistry, and the 2012 Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society. Dr. Weber is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Electrochemistry and is current chair of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society. His current research involves understanding and optimizing fuel-cell performance and lifetime including component and ionomer studies; understanding flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage; and analysis of solar-fuel generators


Tuesday, December 3


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park
Mountain View, CA




6 PM social hour

7 PM dinner

8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration - Up to 7 days in advance of deadline $30 $15
Registration - Up to deadline $35 $20
After deadline/walk-in (Availability NOT guaranteed) $40 $25


Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register on the web page or contact:

John Kerr


phone: 510-486-6279

Deadline for registration:

5PM, Monday, November 25 for early registration discount

5PM,Monday, December 3 for registration (or until venue has reached capacity.)

Dinner Selection:

Broiled Salmon

Chicken Florentine

Eggplant Parmesan

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.