The Spanish beamline SpLine gets its first scientific data


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The multipurpose Spanish Collaborating Research Group (CRG) beamline at the ESRF, SpLine, got its first scientific data in June. Today, less than a month later, the SpLine team welcomes the first user to the experimental station. From now on, both Spanish users and also users from other nationalities can apply for beamLinea btime.


The main goal of SpLine, a bending magnet beamline, is to satisfy the needs of the Spanish Scientific Community with a broad range of interests crossing very different research areas. Due to this, it was decided to conceive SpLine as an interdisciplinary multipurpose beamline, which is mainly focused in Materials Science research. It consists of two branches, each equipped with its own focusing optics and experimental stations. Consequently, each branch can be operated simultaneously and independently from one another. One branch has facilities for high-resolution powder diffraction and X-ray absorption, whilst the other offers Single Crystal Diffraction, Surface Diffraction and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. “The beamline has its own design, and 80% of its development has been done following its specific requirements”, explains the scientist in charge, Germán Castro.

The Ministry of Science and Education has recently appointed the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) as the beamline manager. The CSIC is planning the creation of a research unit in Grenoble, which should respond to the administration needs for the appropriate management of this CRG. Therefore, the CSIC is creating a unit to deal with beamline management in order to cover the synchrotron radiation needs of the Spanish scientific community, speed up the administrative procedures and support the users. The vice-president of the CSIC, J.M. Fernández Labastida, visited the beamline last month, together with M. Martínez Ripoll, vice-chairman of international relations.

SpLine is one of the two Spanish beamlines at the ESRF. The other one, BM16, operational since 2003, is dedicated to Macromolecular Biology Research and in the future also to Small Angle Scattering. It is funded by the Spanish and the Catalan governments.