After earning his B.S and M.S degrees in electrical engineering specializing in semiconductor device fabrication from Northern Illinois University, Ray Conley went to the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in 2002. At the APS, he developed advanced deposition system controls and specialized thin-film techniques for x-ray optics. His role was a balance of user collaboration and original development work, including experimental coatings, multilayers, detector development, and diffraction-limited Kirkpatrick-Baez mirrors.
His growth of the first multilayer Laue lenses at APS eventually led to a lens which produced a 16nm focus, earning a patent and a 2005 R&D 100 award. After this work, he conceived of the plan for fabrication of wedged multilayer Laue lenses, which are to-date the most promising type of x-ray optic with the potential for the smallest spatial resolution. These lenses are the type of optics targeted for the NSLS-II hard x-ray nanoprobe.
Ray Conley joined the NSLS-II project as the Research Engineer leading the nanofocusing optics fabrication R&D in July of 2008.