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#Followascientist on the new EBS beamlines


EBS is providing exciting new science. In addition to the delivery of a brand-new generation of high-energy synchrotron, EBS also includes the construction of four new flagship beamlines and the refurbishment of several others to exploit the performances of the new source. Follow the scientists in charge of the projects in these videos and discover the work in progress at the new EBS' BM18 and ID29 and at the refurbished ID27, ID24 and ID21.

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Paul Tafforeau

BM18 is the ESRF’s new flagship beamline for microtomography that fully exploits the high-energy X-rays of the new EBS source. This beamline is designed to image large samples (60 cm × 200 cm) on multiple scales: from the complete sample to sub-micrometer resolution imaging of selected regions, with a partial emphasis on automation and high throughput. Its principle is similar to a medical scanner, but 1000 times more precise and more sensitive.

How do you feel about the new beamline personally?

BM18 is a dream coming progressively into reality. It will be truly unique in the world, and I am sure that we will rapidly have major breakthroughs in biomedical imaging, material sciences, geology, palaeontology and archaeology. It will be the first time that we will be able to study 3D structures at the micron scale in metre-sized samples using X-ray tomography. No one has ever worked with such a kind of X-ray beam, so we are expecting incredible applications. I am sure that this new beamline will trigger many new ideas for experiments that we still haven’t even thought about.




Daniele de Sanctis

ID29, the new EBS flagship beamline for Serial Crystallography, will have unmatched flux density at the sample position, which will make it possible to collect data from biological macromolecule crystals of a few micrometers in a few microseconds.

How do you feel about the new beamline personally?

I am very excited with the progress with construction and I am grateful to all the people involved in the project, whose commitment allowed us to meet the deadlines despite the sanitary situation. The beamline is the first of a kind; it will probably become a model for other similar ones in the future. It is made of instruments that are unique, so there is a lot of enthusiasm now that the commissioning is about to start and we are eagerly looking forward to new breakthroughs.



Mohamed Mezouar

The major upgrade that is ongoing at the beamline ID27 will provide significantly higher photon flux density and higher coherence, especially for photon energies above 20 keV, i.e. the energy range most relevant for diffraction and imaging at extreme conditions. This will enable a new class of nano-X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and X-ray imaging studies under extreme Pressure-Temperature conditions.

The direct impact on studies at extreme conditions is that higher pressure and temperature states, which can be generated only in smaller volumes, will be finely characterized. Transient processes under extreme conditions will be observed and submicron sample heterogeneities will also become accessible, at the microsecond time scale, with a deeper understanding of processes such as transport (diffusion, viscosity) or crystallisation/melting, under extreme conditions. 

The new, upgraded high-pressure beamline ID27 will have much higher flux and smaller beam than its predecessor, as well as better detectors. It will enable ultra-high pressure experiments (P> 4 Matm), time-resolved experiments (millisecond resolution), 2-D micro-fluorescence mapping and in situ X-ray imaging.

How do you feel about the new beamline personally?

I feel very excited to see the project becoming reality. This instrument will be unique worldwide in terms of beam characteristics and sample environment versatility. I also have the feeling that the user community is impatient to explore the outstanding performances of the new instrument. Very challenging experiments are already planned to explore materials under unprecedented pressure and temperature conditions, such as those prevailing deep inside giant planets (Saturn, Jupiter). We can expect breakthroughs in various scientific areas.



Raffaella Torchio

The high-power laser-facility  (HPLF) at the ESRF is a unique resource for the scientific community, which will be integrated on the ID24 beamline and will enable the research on matter under more extreme pressures, temperatures and strain rate than were previously possible.

How do you feel about the new facility personally?

I feel very excited about starting this adventure and cannot wait to unveil the mystery of Warm Dense Matter. We will perform groundbreaking experiments, probing matter in unexplored conditions and with unprecedented data quality.



Hiram Castillo

The cultural heritage and environmental research community largely benefits from beamline ID21. The refurbished X-ray microscopy beamline will allow scientists to push the frontiers of research in these fields by investigating samples at higher resolution (down to 100nm), with faster acquisitions and lower detection limits, in particular thanks to the installation of a new X-ray nanoscope, complementing and outperforming the present microscope.

How do you feel about the new beamline personally?

The new beamline will be unique worldwide, the energy range we cover at this spatial resolution and detection limits will certainly lead to scientific breakthroughs, in particular in the life and environmental sciences, thanks to the optimised cryogenic sample environment.


Text by Montserrat Capellas Espuny. Videos by Mark McGee and Montserrat Capellas Espuny.