Installing the first components of the world’s brightest X-ray source

An image of the first components being installed to the world's brightest X-ray source

The first components of the world’s brightest X-ray source, the ESRF‘s new Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS), have been installed.

The EBS is the world’s brightest x-ray source and the world’s first, high-energy fourth-generation synchrotron light source, more than one hundred billion times stronger than hospital X-rays in its analytical power. The ESRF has now announced a new milestone, that the first components have been installed in the storage ring tunnel.

The new EBS is one hundred times more powerful and twenty percent more energy efficient than its predecessor, the European Sychotron (ESRF), which was dismantled in December last year.

The first new components

The first components of the new structure are steel girders comprising over 10,000 cutting-edge parts. They must be aligned to within half a width of a human hair. Despite this, ninety percent of the existing infrastructure for ESRF will be reused, making the upgrade as sustainable as possible.

The Extremely Brilliant Source: a new chapter in history?

The start of the installation is a key part of the facility’s  upgrade programme. The replacement of the third-generation source will provide new fields such as health, energy, the environment, industry and nanotechnologies. The EBS lattice has already been used by other synchrotrons around the world. Eighteen other upgrades following EBS are planned, such as in the United States, Japan and China.

ESRF Director-General Francesco Sette commented: “Audacity and innovation underpin the ESRF’s mission and the Extremely Brilliant Source writes a new chapter in our history.”

Sette continued: “EBS will provide X-rays with unprecedented brilliance and coherence, which will enable scientists to study materials at the atomic level in much greater detail, with higher quality, and at a much faster rate. This powerful new tool will help scientists to address major challenges facing our society.”

Pantaleo Raimondi, ESRF accelerator & source director, added: “It’s a great moment for all the teams. Seeing the first girders installed on time is testament to the expertise, hard work and commitment of all involved for more than four years. EBS represents a great leap forward in progress and innovation for the new generation of synchrotrons.”

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