The ESRF designs a new generation of synchrotrons

Following on from 20 years of success and scientific excellence, the ESRF, the world’s first third-generation light source, has embarked upon an ambitious and innovative modernisation project – the Upgrade Programme. After the succesful delivery of the first phase of this programme in the period 2009-2015, the ESRF launched, in May 2015, the ESRF – Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF – EBS) project. The ESRF-EBS project was highlighted as an ESFRI landmark in the 2016 ESFRI roadmap.

ESRF-EBS represents an investment of 150 M€ over the period 2015-2022. The principal aim of this project is to construct and commission the new 844m circumference ESRF-EBS storage ring. About 90% of the existing infrastructure will be re-used, and the new ESRF-EBS design has been conceived with greatly improved energy efficiency, reducing electricity costs by 20%. With performances multiplied by 100 in terms of brilliance and coherence, this new source of synchrotron radiation will offer unprecedented tools for the exploration of matter and for the understanding of life at the macromolecular level.

"The ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source is a new challenge taken up together by the 22 partner nations of the ESRF. With the construction and commissioning of the first of a new generation of synchrotrons, fully conceived and designed by ESRF accelerator scientists and engineers, the ESRF consolidates and enlarges its pioneering role in X-ray science. This challenging and unique project will provide new tools for the investigation of condensed matter and life sciences, which will better worldwide scientific cooperation and the quest to finding durable answers to the pressing technological, economic, health and environmental challenges facing our society." Francesco Sette, Director General of the ESRF

A scientific and technological challenge

"The highlight and major technological challenge of the ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source project is the creation of an ultra-bright synchrotron source with performances 100 times superior to present day synchrotrons. In an increasingly competitive scientific environment, the construction of this new light source, that will produce more intense, coherent and stable X-ray beams, is a strategic project for the future of the ESRF, opening new perspectives for X-ray science." Pantaleo Raimondi, Director of Accelerator & Source, Harald Reichert and Jean Susini, Research Directors.

The ESRF – EBS is a global project that will boost the position of the ESRF partner countries at the forefront of X-ray science and instrumentation. ESRF–EBS consists of four components:

  • The construction of a new – the first of a kind – storage ring, inside the existing infrastructure, producing an extremely brilliant source
  • A new state-of-the-art beamline portfolio and user support facilities adapted to the new research opportunities
  • An ambitious scientific instrumentation programme, including high performance X-ray detectors
  • A "data as a service" strategy to fully exploit the high performance of the new X-ray source

The implementation of this major project is based on the unique expertise of the ESRF, on the success of the ESRF Upgrade Programme Phase I that has provided new tools to explore the nano-world, but also on the synergy with European laboratories and synchrotrons to develop open innovation, and to enhance the competitiveness of European industry through open science.

More information: ESRF-EBS blog

This project receives support from the CPER  (Contrat de Plan Etat Région) in France.




The ESRF Upgrade Programme: 330M€ over 2009-2022


Upgrade Programme documentation