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From the Director's Office


Last year was an eventful one for MAX IV with the number of beamlines that opened to users increasing from 3 to 8. Scientific and technical highlights from 2019 are nicely summarized in our annual compendium.

2020 was even more eventful with 3 additional beamlines opening to users by year-end for a total of eleven, three more entering commissioning, another major review - and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like user facilities worldwide, the MAX IV user community and staff alike experienced unprecedented challenges to carrying out long-planned science programs due to pandemic-related travel limitations, communication obstacles, production delays, and sadly, illness. Nevertheless, we are very fortunate to have been able to continue to operate MAX IV.

Together we have adapted to the evolving situation by finding new ways to conduct science safely through virtual collaboration and by increasing support for remote access and mail-in samples.

You can read about this year's review of MAX IV by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) here. In its report, the review committee commended MAX IV on its progress since the previous review and made several recommendations for advancing the laboratory's performance and a long-range strategy. Of note is that MAX IV is well on the way to completing its 16 funded beamlines and opening these to the user community.

Also of note is the large uptick this year in the number and quality of scientific publications resulting from work at MAX IV. But all this pales in the context of the unimaginable tragedy and global impact of the pandemic. As the year comes to a close, I hope that each of us takes a few moments to extend a bit of extra kindness to family, friends and colleagues this holiday season. It is likely we will face more challenges in 2021. Yet it is certain we will meet these challenges and come out stronger by overcoming them together. I wish everyone good health, a warm (but not too warm!) holiday, and a
very happy new year.


Ian McNulty, Director MAX IV Laboratory


We warmly invite you to attend a new series of scientific seminars, named SCIENTÍFika, organised by the User Office.

The SCIENTíFika initiative aims to share knowledge and stimulate discussions on synchrotron research and methods developed at MAX IV. A channel to learn more about our facility, strengthen collaborations, bring communities together and promote cooperation and interdisciplinarity.

Seminar practicalities:


Monday, 14 December 2020 at 13:45 CET 

Electronically driven spin-reorientation transition of the correlated polar metal Ca3Ru2O7 by Prof. Philip King, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews (UK). The host is Craig Polley, scientist at the BLOCH beamline. 


Monday, 18 January 2021 at 13:45 CET

Time-resolved SAXS studies of nanocube assembly in levitating drops by Prof. Lennart Bergström, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University, (SE). The host is Dr Tomás Plivelic, manager at CoSAXS beamline.


Find upcoming seminars here:

Upcoming call for proposals

From 15 December (18 December for FemtoMAX) we welcome your application for beamtime for a subset of beamlines for the period spring 2021 to February 2022. Submission deadline is CET 23:59, Tuesday 2 February 2021.

Please note that due to Covid-19, MAX IV had to adjust its proposal cycle. We expect to be able to return to our regular proposal schedule after summer 2021.

For this upcoming deadline, the following beamlines and proposal types are available:

  • Balder, Bloch, FinEstBeAMS, FlexPES, HIPPIE, MAXPEEM, NanoMAX, and SPECIES (APXPS)  accept proposals of type normal.
  • FemtoMAX accepts proposals of type normal for 10Hz operation.

The next call after that will open 2021-02-15. Please visit the Proposal calls website for upcoming proposal calls, submission instructions and proposal types, and the page with available beamlines and techniques. Users are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with the beamline staff before submission.

Since the corona pandemic is constantly changing, we urge users to check regularly, and if in doubt about upcoming beamtimes, contact

Science News

Image credit: A. Björling et al.

New method for coherent characterisation of nano particles

Alexander Björling, beamline scientist at NanoMAX, and colleagues have developed an algorithm that can piece together the strain field for particles that rotate around unknown axes. This method could make Bragg coherent diffraction imaging applicable to smaller nanoparticles than ever before. Read more here.

Reprinted with permission from Environmental Science & Technology. Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society.

Crystalline iron: geological sieve for nuclear waste storage

What must nations consider when managing spent nuclear fuel with the utmost safety? The geological composition of the storage site is one critical aspect. Glacial meltwater loaded with oxygen may be introduced deep into bedrock fractures during deglaciations. The potential intrusion of dissolved oxygen is a risk factor for corrosion of nuclear waste canisters, and therein a potential cause for leakage of radionuclides. Research at Linnaeus University in Sweden has found that iron-rich fractured crystalline bedrock exposed to several deglaciation events retains significant oxygen consumption capacity. Read the article here.

Credit: Giulio D’Acunto

Two-dimensional materials offer versatile corrosion protection

Two-dimensional materials can be used as a coating to protect copper from corrosion. A recent study conducted at beamline HIPPIE shows that the onset of corrosion can be delayed from room temperature up to more than 120 degrees centigrade using graphene or hexagonal boron nitride. The different properties of the two 2D materials are reflected in the mechanism of oxidation at the critical temperature. Read the article here.

Open positions

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

Right now we are looking to fill these open positions:

Optics Expert apply before 18 December

Beamline Scientist BioMAX apply before 20 December

Experimental Safety, Gas and Chemical apply before 3 January

Experimental Safety, Lead apply before 3 January

2-year Postdoctoral/Temporary Scientist at CoSAXS apply before 10 January

Physical Sciences Director apply before 11 January 

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