Skip to main content

One year of ESRF-EBS


The ESRF, the European Synchrotron, Grenoble, France, celebrates one year of operation of its Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS) and a year of new science.

  • Share

One year ago, the ESRF switched on its Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS), a revolutionary new high-energy, fourth-generation synchrotron light source, a €150m project over 2015-2022 funded by ESRF’s 22 partner countries.

An accelerator physics dream saw the light with the launch of the world’s brightest synchrotron source, ESRF-EBS, inspiring many constructions and upgrades of synchrotron light sources around the world. Thanks to its enhanced performances, EBS has opened new vistas for X-rays science, enabling scientists to bring X-ray science into research domains and applications that could not have been imagined a few years ago, and providing invaluable new insight into the microscopic and atomic structure of living matter and materials in all their complexity.

Today, the ESRF celebrates one year of user operation of EBS and one year of exciting new science. “Europe can be proud of this masterpiece of state-of-the-art technology and scientific vision,” says Helmut Dosch, Chair of the ESRF Council.

1600 user experiments have been carried out with ESRF-EBS over the past year. Discover the new science through five portraits of ESRF scientists: 

  • Paul Tafforeau, imaging the core of fossils and human organs
  • Alexandra Pacureanu, mapping the circuits of the brain
  • Daniele de Sanctis, studying proteins to tackle biomedical and bio-environmental challenges
  • Angelika Rosa, revealing planetary formation processes
  • Hiram Castillo-Michel, investigating the fate of nanomaterials in the environment

“The first results on the hierarchical micro-imaging of human organs of COVID-19 patients, obtained with EBS, bring emotions similar to those on the first analytical anatomical studies of Leonardo da Vinci in early 1500s!” says Francesco Sette, ESRF’s Director General. “With EBS, the ESRF continues its pioneering role to provide an unprecedented new tool for scientists to push the frontiers of science and address global and complex challenges facing our society, such as health and the environment.”


Link to the EBS brochure for more information: