The Center for X-Ray Optics is a multi-disciplined research group within Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (LBNL) Materials Sciences Division (MSD). Notice to users.

Inspiring and preparing the
next generation of scientists, engineers, and educators.

The Center for X-Ray Optics prides itself on educating a diverse workforce of scientists, engineers, and educators to lead us into the future. Each year, approximately 10 middle school teachers, high school students, and undergraduate engineers spend the summer at CXRO performing research with scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students.

Research Experience for Teachers

In collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) EUV Engineering Research Center (ERC), the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is a six week, hands on, paid research experience for middle school teachers. During this period, teachers perform research with CXRO scientists, participate in education workshops, attend scientific lectures, and develop new curricula based on their experience. Logo for the Research Experience for Teachers program
Photo of the 2010 RET participants

2010 RET participants. From left: Justine Bayles, Liz Martin, Edwin Contreras, Kaarin Goncz (program director), Brian Riccatone, Angela Bayless, Brian Bariash, and Robert Behrens

"This summer was a great experience. I spent a lot of my time developing software tools for the engineering team. Re-exposing myself to programming reminded me how valuable and useful it can be. I've decided to purchase several MATLAB licenses for my classroom and integrate programming into my cirriculum next year."

Wendy Jennings
Luther Burbank High School, Sacramento, CA.

Photo of Wendy Jennings, 2010 RET Participant

"Working with lasers and optics at CXRO has been an invaluable experience. Having the opportunity to participate in the scientific process up-close and in action will allow me to share real world science applications with my students and to ignite excitement about science and discovery."

Brian Barish
Claremont Middle School, Oakland, CA.

Photo of Brian Barish, 2010 RET participant

"It has been exciting experiencing the cutting-edge science that is happening at CXRO. When I'm back in the classroom and my students ask the inevitable questions: 'Why do I have to know this?' or 'Who actually uses this in the real world?' I'll have a plethora of meaningful responses."

Liz Martin
Claremont Middle School, Oakland, CA.

Photo of Liz Martin, 2010 RET participant

"Learning computer programming has been such a useful experience. Being able to tell a machine what to do is so empowering, that I plan to teach it at my school in order to show kids its usefulness and the great excitement that comes with it."

Edwin Contreras
Oakland Community Day School, Oakland, CA.

Photo of Edwin Contreras, 2010 RET participant

Learn more.

To apply, or learn more about the RET program please contact Kaarin Goncz. To learn more about LBNL's Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE) Industry Initiatives for Science and Mathematics Education (IISME) program (which Wendy belonged to), visit the CSEE website.

High School Apprenticeship

Every year, CXRO hosts several high school students for 4-10 week Summer apprenticeship programs. Students work first-hand with graduate student researchers and CXRO scientists to design and conduct experiments, develop software applications, and more.

"LBNL broadened my horizons and changed my perspectives of science. Though my time here was short, I can feel the aura of challenge and adventure pervasive throughout the laboratory...especially through the cordialness and optimistic attitude of its faculty. LBNL is truly a haven for aspiring researchers."

Grace Gee
Calhoun High School, Port Lavaca, TX.

Photo of Grace Gee, 2010 SHARP participant

"My experience with robotics at my school introduced me to programming and engineering, but my work at CXRO allowed me to apply my knowledge to a real world project and learn so much more about the world of computer science. I went through thousands of lines of code, learned how to implement widely used programming tools, and who could forget, accidentally hijacked a multimillion dollar x-ray microscope!"

Richie Zeng
Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, CA.

Photo of Richie Zeng, 2010 High School Apprentice

"Working with code from CXRO has expanded my knowledge of applications of software. I can now see how the code applies to the XM-1 microscope, and how this in turn connects computer science to almost every field of research. Writing programs as a job is not so intimidating anymore, and I actually find it quite enjoyable now. I am so grateful for this opportunity to work at LBNL this summer."

Daniel Hsu
Cupertino High School, Cupertino, CA.

Photo of Daniel Hsu, 2010 High School apprentice

Learn more.

To apply, or learn more, visit LBNL's CSEE website and UC Berkeley's Summer High-School Apprenticeship Research Program (SHARP) website.

Undergraduate Internships

CXRO's undergraduate researchers gain hands-on experience in the lab and the opportunity to apply learned theory to high-impact projects in optics, nanoscience, and engineering. Students research assistants regularly contribute to CXRO's research projects and publish or co-author papers with CXRO scientists and graduate students. They often present their research at conferences and to their peers, and collaborate with academia and partnering institutions, creating a pipeline to employment and higher education.

"My work at CXRO involves developing software applications for the XM-1 soft x-ray microscope, located at the Advanced Light Source. Throughout the internship I learned a lot of new programming concepts that I hope to take into the workforce this year. Interning with CXRO has been a very enlightening experience; I am so grateful to have had this opportunity."

Paul Mcfall
Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA

Photo of Paul Mcfall, 2010 undergraduate intern

"The work I do at CXRO requires me to think creatively and exercise a full spectrum of programming and analytical skills. I spent the summer of 2009 modeling a newly developed aberration monitor for EUV lighography systems. This summer (2010) I am developing a suite of web-based tools for CXRO's nanofabrication team that will help users design zone plate lenses. I am also co-mentoring two High School teachers. I feel fortunate to have spent two summers at CXRO. The experience has made me grow technically, and equally importantly, I feel I've become a better leader and mentor."

Kurt Schleuter
Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA

Photo of Kurt Schlueter, 2010 undergraduate intern

Learn more.

To apply, or learn more, visit LBNL's Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE) website.

Graduate Education

Many CXRO research contributions stem from the inspiration and hard work of CXRO's graduate students. In collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley, dozens of Berkeley graduate students have spent their graduate careers at CXRO, working directly with CXRO scientists on their dissertation research. We welcome inquiries by students and faculty mentors for opportunities to work with CXRO staff. For more information, please contact principal investigators directly.