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Sébastien Boutet,
Staff Scientist, LCLS,
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Sébastien Boutet

Staff Scientist, 2007-present
Linac Coherent Light Source
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

B.Sc, Physics:     McGill University,
Montreal, Québec, Canada
PhD, Physics: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Urbana, IL
Advisor: Dr. Ian Robinson
Dissertation: Coherent x-ray diffractive imaging and
nucleation of protein crystals

During my undergraduate studies in Physics at McGill University, I spent a summer at TRIUMF at the University of British Columbia working on heavy ion cooling trap simulations. After graduating with Honours in 1999, I joined Ian Robinson x-ray diffraction group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I learned how to perform synchrotron experiments at multiple light source including NSLS, ESRF and the APS. My primary focus during PhD work was on applying known and novel techniques of surface diffraction and coherent diffractive imaging to the study of protein crystals. After some work on large protein crystals surface diffraction at NSLS, most of my efforts shifted to a new beamline at the APS. I participated in the installation and commissioning of this beamline, sector 34ID-C, although I was far from the primary contributor. This nevertheless introduced me to the intricacies of building x-ray beamlines. I then used this beamline for a few years to study the shapes and internal defects of crystals of proteins using newly developed coherent diffractive imaging techniques applied to small crystals. While some successes were achieved, it became clear that limitations exist at synchrotrons due to sample motion and radiation damage. Luckily, as I completed my PhD work in 2005, new light sources were in construction that would remove thee limitations. FLASH in Hamburg and LCLS were soon to come online. I spent a few years at the APS trying to observe shape transforms from protein crystals, with great difficulty, something that LCLS now routinely accomplishes without much effort due to the instantaneous nature of the LCLS measurements.

After completion of my PhD work, I joined SLAC as a Research Associate, drawing a salary from Uppsala University and Janos Hajdu but spending all my time at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working with the group of Henry Chapman. We spent a couple of years using FLASH to demonstrate the feasibility of using ultrashort FEL pulses for “diffraction-before-destruction” imaging and developing new tools and techniques for FEL research. In 2007, I took a position at LCLS to work on the Coherent X-ray Imaging instrument and worked on the LCLS Ultrafast Science Instrument (LUSI) project to deliver the completed CXI instrument in 2011. Since then, most of my time is spent developing new tools for the CXI instrument and performing cutting-edge x-ray experiments with various members of the LCLS user community.


Contact Information
Name: Sébastien Boutet
Title: Staff Scientist
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Phone: (650) 926-8676
Curriculum Vitae 
Curriculum Vitae

SLAC SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Dept. of Energy