NHMFL User Services

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Report
Users’ Committee Meeting
May 1999

The User Committee wishes to have its next meeting at the same time and place as the Executive Advisory Committee meeting. This will allow both committees to have a session together as well as meet separately. The weekend of Nov. 12/13 was discussed. (While this report was being edited the EAC set their meeting for Oct. 25-26.)

The Officers of the User Committee remain unchanged from 1998/99. Chuck Agosta will be the Chair; Jan Musfeldt will be the secretary.

General Comments

The major issue of this meeting was to help set priorities for the new science and facilities that will be part of the next NSF proposal. A large portion of the user community was polled to collect data for this meeting and much of the meeting was spent discussing new ideas for experiments and facilities that were suggested by the Users. Some of the major instrumentation development projects are outlined in short proposals (numbering five so far) that have been communicated to the NHMFL separately. There are also more general facility upgrade suggestions in the regular sections of this report.

•One overriding issue was the need for additional staffing. At the Tallahassee Lab, support in Operations (in cryogenics, probe development, and for far-infrared spectroscopy) will be critical to on-going User success. Adequate staffing is essential to keep probes, dewars, and other instrumentation up to date and working. With the number of experimentalists now using this facility, the equipment is being heavily used, magnet time has become more valuable, and users need to get their experiments working on time. At the pulsed field facility a new magnet has come online, the 60T long pulse magnet, and there has been no increase in staff. To exploit the capabilities of this magnet, particularly complicated capabilities such as specific heat, full time staff must be hired. The same is true for the high B/T facility. Now that they are running and considering upgrades to increase their throughput (see below), more support is needed for the users.

The suggestion of offering Summer Institutes, short courses, or training programs for graduate students met with strong support.

A two-tiered In-House Research Program also met with general agreement. It seems that small amounts of money could be made available quickly for feasibility studies, whereas larger funding could support more ambitious experimental and instrumentation plans.

We urge the NHMFL to keep a single User's List. In particular, NMR, EMR and ICR User information should be integrated with the rest of the Lab.

Tallahassee-Resistive Magnets

The resistive magnets continue to receive the majority of the use at the NHMFL. Additional field upgrades, more convenient power supply switching and upgraded cooling water capacity should be considered for this facility as we move into the next funding phase. We congratulate the Lab on the successful resistive insert test for the hybrid. The User Committee thanks Mark Bird for his clever "ferroshims", which improve homogeneity in the NMR magnets. We also appreciate his clear explanations of the various options for a transverse access magnet.

Tallahassee-Resonance

The User Committee suggests that the NMR program build upon the most unique aspects of the Tallahassee facility: the 25 T Keck magnet and the very large available bore in the 900 MHz system. We continue to urge NSF to approve funding for the 900 MHz NMR console. In order to build up the most important facilities and attract a User base, we also suggest hiring one or more high-resolution NMR spectroscopists as consultants. A consultant could be followed by hosting a national workshop to discuss new uses for the facility. Housing for research animals will help facilitate biological experiments.

•We applaud the success of the ICR and EMR programs. In particular, we find the biological experiments done at the ICR lab very exciting. We urge the lab to plan longer lead times for setting up the FIR laser for non-EMR experiments. Ideally the laser should be set up several days in advance and pretuned to the desired lines."

Pulsed Magnetic Fields

The User Committee notes that the Pulsed Field Facility move, scheduled for the end of the summer, is proceeding in a very organized manner. We encourage the LANL group to resume normal operations as quickly as possible after the move.

•The 60 T long-pulse magnet is enjoying heavy use, thanks to its reliable performance. The long-range development for a 70 T pulsed system as well as a 100 T pulsed hybrid has strong User support. We continue to look forward to methods for reducing the ripple on the 60 T long pulsed magnet. Although passive solutions such as an aluminum shield or crowbar system may be partially successful (and worth pursuing) an active system could also provide deep modulation for magnetization experiments. The User Committee strongly supports raising funds to build an active field compensation/modulation system for the 60/70T long pulse magnet.

High B/T Facility

The High B/T Facility is accomplishing a very difficult set of experiments. Nevertheless, through-put issues may be a concern. Adding a second, lower field magnet as well as top-loading ability would be helpful to increase throughput. Eventually, a 25 T magnet will be needed to deliver B/T = 2.5 105.

MRI

The Brain Institute's proposed development of a small animal imaging magnet will be an important step forward. The development of an 80+ cm bore magnet (H > 7 T) for studying humans would bring about very exciting new work in muscle/nerve physiology and imagining.


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