Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is Co-ACCESS?

    Question details:

    What does Co-ACCESS offer to collaborators?


    Co-ACCESS is a initiative at SSRL that aims to provide the necessary resources to catalysis science user groups (studying heterogeneous, homogeneous or electro-catalysis) for efficiency and success of the experiments during their beam time  The resources include: 

    (i) An appropriate level of assistance and/or collaboration with the catalysis users to maximize the probability of success of their research.

    (ii) The development of a suite of in-situ/operando reactors to cover a wide range of catalytic chemistry (thermal heterogeneous (both gas and liquid phase) catalysis, homogeneous catalysis, and electro-catalysis) that are compatible with the various beam lines at SSRL.

    (iii) The development of common platforms to allow seamless transfer of samples without contamination between the various instruments and methods.

    (iv) The incorporation of improved scheduling options to allow flexibility in the type of experiments that can be performed (e.g., long-term deactivation phenomena).

    (v) Appropriate guidance and support in all aspects of a synchrotron experiment – from proposal writing, to experimental planning, to data processing and analysis.

    (vi) Offering educational opportunities to users for them to learn advanced data analysis and modeling of XAS data.


  • How do I start a collaboration with Co-ACCESS?


    Please contact Simon Bare or Adam Hoffman with your science, and we can always exchange emails or set up meetings for further discussion.

  • How do I reference Co-ACCESS funding source in a publication?


    All publications related to work fully or partially undertaken using Co-ACCESS facilities must include an acknowledgement statement. Please use the following acknowledgement:

    “Co-ACCESS, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences”

  • What is available in the Co-ACCESS wet lab?


    A fully-equipped wet chemistry laboratory is available to Co-ACCESS collaborators. This laboratory is equipped with:

    • 6ft and 4ft fume hoods
    • toxic/flammable gas cabinets
    • argon-filled glove box
    • ovens, furnaces and other ancillary equipment that are necessary for catalysis research


    The laboratory is used for testing of equipment prior to a beamtime, catalyst preparation and testing, or for development of experimental protocols.


    In addition, the laboratory is equipped with a Thermo-Fischer Nicolet iS50 FTIR spectrometer with an external prototyping chamber equipped with a MCT-A detector. The spectrometer is coupled to a gas manifold allowing for in-situ infrared experiments using either the diffuse reflectance or transmission experimental cells. This FTIR spectrometer is available to collaborators.


    Please visit for Co-ACCESS lab page under Resources more information.

  • What ​types of in situ/operando reactor/echem cell are available at Co-ACCESS?


    Please visit the In Situ Cells page under Resources for the list of cells available.


    We have a capillary cell design that allows for capillaries that are fabricated from polyimide, borosilicate glass, quartz, and sapphire with diameters up to 3 mm, and a range of wall thicknesses, to be utilized. Data have been successfully obtained at temperatures up to 800°C and pressure up to 20 bar. We are currently modifying the design to allow operation up to 1200°C.


    For XAS studies in the tender X-ray range, we have a specialized cell available.


    For samples that are inherently air-sensitive and must be loaded in an inert glove box, we also have a cell available that was specifically designed for such samples.


    As the program at SSRL expands into other areas of catalysis, e.g. electrocatalysis and liquid phase catalysis, we are actively working on in-situ cells that are compatible with those chemistries.


    If a user wishes to bring their own cell, they are welcome to do this, as our control system is designed to interface with many of the current designs, and we actively seek collaborations with users to expand the suite of cells available.

  • What gas handling system is supported by Co-ACCESS?


    For the catalysis users, Co-ACCESS offers the infrastructure/equipment that is essential in performing their in-situ/operando experiments at SSRL.

    Numerous ventilated gas cabinets for toxic/flammable gases are installed at the beam lines. Gas lines run from these cabinets to a patch panel permanently mounted on the wall in the experimental hutch. This panel allows the user to select either high pressure or ambient pressure operation.


    Ambient Pressure System

    - Control and blending of up to six different gases

    - Commonly supported gases: Intert feed (He, N2),Hydrogen Blends (5-100% H2), Oxygen Blends (5-20% O2), Carbon Monoxide Blends (5-100% CO), Hydrocarbon Blends (5-100% HC) [methane, ethylene].

    - Flow control ranges: 1 - 400 sccm, flow controller dependent, with pressure monitoring throughout all steps of the flow path.

    - Modulation excitation capable – cycling of two gas streams at frequencies.

    - Reactor bypass module – reactant feed able to bypass reactor for on-line characterization of feed stream via mass spectrometer/GC.

    - Accommodation for a temperature-controlled liquid saturator to blend in the vapor from e.g. methanol, ethanol, water, etc.


    High Pressure System

    - Three high-pressure gases including He, H2, and CO.

    - Pressure range(s): 1-15 bar OR 10-75 bar backpressure (configurable).

    - Flow ranges: 0.5-15 sccm of He/H2/CO blends OR 100 sccm He, 50 sccm H2, 20 sccm CO MAX.


    Both systems are controlled via a user-friendly LabView interface with all parameters logged.


  • What is SLAC?


    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a US Department of Energy lab operated by Stanford University. SLAC was established in 1962 as a particle physics research center, and is now a multipurpose laboratory for astrophysics, photon science, accelerator and particle physics research. SLAC is home to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) which the Co-ACCESS is based in. The SSRL is primarily used for materials science and biology experiments which take advantage of the high-intensity, monochromatic synchrotron radiation emitted by the stored electron beam to study the structure of molecules. 

    For more information about SLAC, please visit SLAC website.