Mid-IR User Guide

Welcome! The Mid-IR User Guide is your resource for before, during and after your beamtime at the Canadian Light Source!

If you're new here, you may want to start on the About pages which contain information about the capabilities of the Mid-IR beamline instruments.

The User Guide walks you through all steps of your Mid-IR experience from applying for beam time to the data analysis and publication.

How to get beamtime

An overview of beamtime access methods, proposal preparation information and more can be found at applying for beamtime.

Beamtime can be accessed by:

  • General User Proposal call - twice a year, usually January and July
  • Purchased (Mail-in) Access for academic and industry
  • Rapid Access - special requests

Beamtime Requests

An active project does not automatically receive beamtime each cycle, therefore a beamtime request (BTR) must be submitted for each scheduling period during the Call for Proposals. A beamtime request is used to request shifts in the upcoming cycle. Active projects submitting a beamtime requests are not re-evaluated and will retain the initial peer review score received.  Allocation of shifts is based on the highest ranked proposals (both new and active). Note: The highest ranked score is 1 and the lowest is 5.

  1. Log in to the User Portal and select Home → My Projects to view a list of projects. Click on the Create beamtime request icon under the Shifts section on the project page.
  2. Enter the desired number of shifts for this cycle only.
  3. Enter the justification, comments, and good/poor dates for scheduling considerations if applicable.

Please see User Portal Guide: Beamtime Requests and this document for detailed instructions.

Before Beamtime

Normal (on-site) Access

Users travel to the CLS to collect data in person.

  1. Talk to beamline staff about your samples and setup requirements
  2. Prepare for Facility Access and be sure to complete Facility Access Training before your scheduled beamtime.
  3. Review the Before your Beamtime and What to Expect On-Site pages

Mail-in and remote access

  1. Talk to beamline staff about your samples and setup requirements
  2. Prepare your shipment
  3. Ship samples close to beamtime
  4. Contact beamline staff to confirm safe arrival of samples, verify storage methods
  5. Complete Wizard if you have not already done so.

Notes about samples: Significant sample amendments to a proposal should be discussed with the beamline responsible one month before beam time. Any samples/materials/equipment that you plan on bringing must be listed on the project. Samples/materials must be approved before arriving at CLS. To amend samples/materials/equipment, click the “Amend”  icon under the “Samples & Materials”  section on the project page.

During Beamtime

General information on what to expect can be found at During Your Beamtime


  1. Beamline staff will meet you at the beamline to help you get started with your experiment.
  2. You will control all aspects of the instrument
  3. Data will be available by method determined previous to beam time


  1. Beamline staff will run your samples using regions of interest (ROI) outlined in the prepared wizard report(s)
  2. Please, be available for communication
  3. You will be contacted when data collection is complete
  4. Data will be available by method determined previous to beam time

Remote access

  1. Choose method of communication with beamline staff; beamline staff will be available for communication during beam time
  2. You will connect to the instrument computer using NoMachine
  3. Beamline staff will setup your sample and get you oriented with the controls for the instrument
  4. You will control all aspects of the instrument
  5. Contact beamline staff for change samples
  6. Data will be available by method determined previous to beam time

After Beamtime

Yay data!

  1. Read the quasar guide to get started on your analysis.
  2. Confirm samples have been dealt with appropriately (returned to user or disposed of)
  3. Take the exit survey, tell us about your beam time experience. We want to know what you liked and how we can improve!
  4. Contact us, we're here to help!