Newsletter from MAX IV Laboratory 
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From the Directors Office


As the formal start of summer approaches (and midsummer is a big deal in Sweden!), it is a pleasure to share with you that two new beamlines at MAX IV, first SoftiMAX last March then DanMAX this month, have starting commissioning.

The advent of DanMAX marks the 14th beamline to "see the light" at MAX IV, joining the stable of facilities either serving users or being commissioned to get ready for them. Also of note, the ForMAX beamline hutches are nearly finished and construction of the MicroMAX hutches is well along, two very visible signs of progress on the experimental floor at MAX IV.

These developments quietly took place during the COVID-19 pandemic that has wrought so much heartbreak around the world. MAX IV is extremely fortunate by contrast to most other synchrotron user facilities in that it has been able to keep operating. MAX IV accelerator systems have continued delivering x-rays on schedule with outstanding reliability and the beamlines have been staffed this spring. However, due to travel restrictions everywhere, the pandemic has reduced the number of users who could attend their planned experiments at MAX IV to a trickle.

BioMAX, with its remote operations capability, has never been busier (including supporting research related to COVID-19) but even with growing capabilities for experiments with mail-in samples at beamlines such as MAXPEEM, most users have suffered. MAX IV staff are making the most of this period to tune up existing capabilities and commission new ones for users, yet it is far from an ideal situation for everyone.

Nevertheless, we are adapting to the new circumstances and preparing for the future. Among other measures to facilitate access to MAX IV, we will offer users who could not come for their scheduled beamtime this spring/summer an opportunity to run their experiments this autumn/winter, and users with highly ranked proposals submitted in the most recent call an opportunity to schedule beamtime during next spring/summer. We also plan to open proposal calls for new beamlines expecting to be ready to host users in a few months. Please see for more information.

Of special mention at the halfway point in 2020 is a marked increase in the number of papers published on work conducted at MAX IV, many of which are appearing in top journals. Recognition for MAX IV's unique capabilities is growing! You can browse through the latest work here:

On this positive note, I would like to wish everyone a safe and relaxing summer holiday and a productive second half of the year. 

Ian McNulty, Director MAX IV Laboratory

User Meeting 2020

Save the date – 28–29 September 2020!

This year's user meeting will be a live virtual meeting. We still hope that some of our users can, in addition, join us for the meeting at Scandic Star Hotel in Lund. In any case, we are looking forward to meeting you so please save the date and keep up to date through this website!

Students - submit your science clips! The student poster prize goes virtual, please look out on the website for submission and deadline information soon and don't miss a chance to win the competition. Also, please send in your nominations for the MAX IV PhD thesis award.

Update user operation, rescheduling and calls

User access to MAX IV

Beamline staff at MAX IV has put tremendous effort into enabling as many experiments as possible during the pandemic so far, by creating flexible ways of doing experiments as mail-in or in “virtual” collaboration, even where this was not foreseen as an access mode before. With that, still, about half of the experiments could be performed during the pandemic so far. In addition, the BioMAX beamline has basically converted to full remote operation, making more than 80% of experiments possible.

Going forward, from 15 June on, we again welcome user from all places and have put in place local measures in order to ensure a safe workplace, following Swedish public health authorities regulations. Since the corona pandemic is constantly changing, we urge users to check regularly, and if in doubt about upcoming beamtimes, contact


MAX IV has decided that proposals affected by Covid-19 will remain valid and offer users to re-schedule. Please check for details. As we do not know how the corona pandemic will develop over the next time, we might need to discuss alternative ways to make experiments possible, such as mail-in or "virtual" access. This will always be evaluated on a case-by-case base between the beamline staff and the users.

Upcoming calls

In order to accommodate all affected proposals, while at the same time provide a fair chance of success for new proposals, MAX IV will adjust the call schedule over the next 12 months. This includes merging of calls as well as separate call dates for separate groups of meantime.

Please check regularly for upcoming calls.

New access modes: rapid access and feasibility studies

During September, MAX IV will start offering new access modes to the community through proposal submission in DUO: Rapid access is for projects that need access to BioMAX and MAXPEEM on short notice, including through remote access or mail-in (for MAXPEEM). Feasibility studies will be offered on most beamlines and are targeted for users without prior synchrotron experience and/or types of samples where no literature reference to synchrotron measurement exists. Both access modes are subject to independent scientific review, more information to come after summer.

Science News

Tackling SARS CoV-2 with X-rays

An international collaboration between the UCL School of Pharmacy, the Lund Protein Production Platform (LP3) and the ESS DEMAX Laboratory, have initiated biophysical and structural studies of three non-structural proteins from the novel coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Recently they managed to solve and have now started to analyse one of these proteins, Nsp10, by using the BioMAX beamline at MAX IV Laboratory. Read more...

Industry gains valuable insights for future product development

A team from the Swedish company Alfa Laval used MAX IV beamline MAXPEEM to gain unprecedented insights on the oxide layer of stainless steel. The information they obtained will be highly beneficial for the company’s R&D activities. Read more...

Did you know that a human hair is in average 100 microns thick, and if cut in 30,000 slices longways, one slice has the same thickness as the oxide studied in the Alfa Laval experiment?

A revolutionary setup for ALD

In a joint project across three universities and MAX IV laboratory, researchers have developed a revolutionary experimental setup for atomic layer deposition. The new instrument was designed specifically for MAX IV and will allow for observations previously impossible.

Up to now, scientists have only been able to analyse the surface of the material after the deposition process. Now, thanks to this next-generation experimental setup developed at SPECIES, they can finally observe the formation of the atomic layer in real-time. “There’s no other technology that can monitor what happens during the pulse, an approach known as in-operando”, explains Matti Putkonen, associate professor at University of Helsinki and expert in atomic layer deposition and etching.

“Furthermore, thanks to APXPS, we can now perform experiments at a pressure range that more closely resembles the true ALD growth conditions used in the industry.” Read more...


The MAX IV Annual Report 2019 and the Beamline Status Report June 2020 are available for download. Find them here!


Northern Lights on Food Masterclass 31 August – 4 September 2020

Do you want to learn more about neutron and X-ray large scale facilities?  Wondering if and how to include these techniques in your food research? Welcome to the Northern Lights on Food Masterclass! The course if free of charge (but with a no-show fee of 1500 SEK) and a certificate will be issued after the course. 

Read more and register before 30 June here!

Northern Lights on Food

Welcome to the second Northern Lights on Food Conference this time organised with financial support from Formas. We will bring together the key actors in the food sector, including academic researchers, institutes and the food industry, with experts in X-ray and neutron-based techniques. The aim is to establish and organise a Northern Light on Food (NLF) network that will provide food researchers with the opportunity to take full advantage of the new research tools provided by Large Scale Research Infrastructure (LSRI), ESS and MAX IV, emerging in Lund.

When: Oct 7, 12.00 - Oct 9, 13.00
Where: Kulturen Auditorium, Tegnérsplatsen 6, 223 50 Lund
Deadline:Aug 20June 18Registration deadline is (Call for Abstracts for Oral presentation is )
Cost: 1795 SEK (895 SEK for PhD students/Post Doc)

Virtual Summer School, Master Class and conferences postponed due to the coronavirus - find all available information on our events page!

Open positions

Be sure to always check our website for the latest openings!

Right now we are looking to fill these open positions:

Scientist NextBioForm (1 year) Apply before 21 June

Insertion Devices Engineer Apply before 5 July 

Please follow us for the latest new!


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