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Laurent C. Chapon

Associate Laboratory Director - Photon Sciences

Laurent Chapon is Argonne’s Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Sciences, and director of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS).


Laurent Chapon is Argonne’s Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Sciences. He also directs the Advanced Photon Source (APS), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at Argonne.

The Photon Sciences directorate consists of the X-ray Science, APS Accelerator Systems, and APS Engineering Support divisions, which comprise the APS; and the Argonne Accelerator Institute.

The APS provides ultrabright X-rays that researchers use to obtain images of structures and dynamics inside many types of materials, chemical systems, and biological systems. More than 5,500 scientists each year use the APS to spur pivotal discoveries across almost the entire spectrum of science and technology, from clean energy and biology to geology and engineering.

As part of Argonne’s senior management team, Chapon is leading the APS through a time of extraordinary change. The APS Upgrade project will result in a transformed facility that will generate X-ray beams up to 500 times brighter than those the APS currently delivers. Once the upgrade is complete, the APS will enable innovations and discoveries that will open new frontiers in science, improve our daily lives and keep the United States at the forefront of global hard X-ray science.

Before joining Argonne, Chapon was director of physical sciences at Diamond Light Source in the United Kingdom. Chapon led the scientific strategy in this division and oversaw five of Diamond’s eight science groups. He led groups dedicated to technological advancements in optics, metrology, and detector technology at the facility, and oversaw the Project Office, User Office, and Experiment Hall groups. In parallel, Chapon was director of the Diamond-II project, recently awarded preliminary funding, for which he has developed the upgrade strategy, the science case and business case.

Prior to his time at Diamond, Chapon was a senior fellow and group leader of crystallography at the Institut Laue-Langevinin Grenoble, France. He also spent nearly a decade at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the United Kingdom, as both an instrument scientist and a group leader of the diffraction and engineering group.

Chapon received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the Université Montpellier-II, in France. He conducted research on the fundamental and thermoelectric properties of skutterudites using neutron scattering, X-ray diffraction and absorption spectroscopy. He conducted postdoctoral research at Argonne in 2001 on molecule-based magnets. Chapon has since worked mainly on the structural and magnetic properties of complex transition metal oxides, including multiferroics, as well as probing the exotic states of matter stabilized in frustrated magnetic systems and chiral compounds. He is an expert in magnetic scattering with neutron and X-ray, crystallography and magnetic symmetry.

Awards, Honors, and Memberships

Chapon received a Prize of the Physical Crystallography Group from the British Crystallography Association in 2008 for his work on multiferroics and magnetic crystallography. He has served in many international review committees for large scale user facilities, most recently at the Canadian Light Source, the SNS Second Target Station Instrument Review Committee at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and is currently the chair of the Program Advisory Committee for the Institut Laue Langevin, France; member of the XFEL Physical Science Hub at the Central Laser Facility, United Kingdom; He serves as an editorial board member for the journal npj Quantum Materials. He has coauthored more than 140 scientific publications.