Branching out: the ESRF’s new beamline portfolio


New beamlines under construction within the Upgrade Programme

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Diffraction imaging for nano-analysis

Where: ID01
What: Long beamline for nano-X-ray diffraction across a wide energy range (2.2–50 keV), offering coherent imaging of individual nanostructures as well as basic surface diffraction and small-angle scattering. Combines X-ray diffraction with atomic-force microscopy to allow investigation of the structure–function relationship at the nanoscale, allowing the properties of device-like structures to be studied in unprecedented detail.
Open for business: late 2014
Scientist in charge, Tobias Schulli, says: “As more of our users study applied materials, rather then model systems, this flexibility in terms of energy range and variable beam size is well adapted for samples that are heterogeneous in their chemistry and crystal structure on the nanoscale.”

High-energy beamline for buried interface structures and materials processing

Where: ID31 (previously ID15)
What: Long beamline covering energies 30–150 keV for the study of working devices in situ, with new optics allowing the beam size to be changed to as small as 200 nm at the push of a button. Smaller spot sizes will allow users to study less perfect, more realistic, interfaces to understand the interplay between microscopic material properties and macroscopic device performance – in particular concerning advanced materials for fuel cells, organic solar cells, rechargeable batteries and catalytic materials.
Open for business: early 2015
Scientist in charge Veijo Honkimäki says: “Technically these beamlines will be the best in the world. The big change is that we can combine diffraction and imaging techniques with auxiliary techniques, and therefore study processes such as chemical reactions in situ.”

Nano-imaging and nano-analysis (NINA)

Where: ID16 (previously ID22)
What: Long, high-brilliance beamline providing nano-focused beams for two end stations. Operated in a cryogenic environment, the nano-imaging end station will focus hard X-rays at specific energies to a spot size as small as 15 nm and combine fluorescence analysis and nano-tomography. The nano-analysis end station will provide a monochromatic beam tunable in a large energy range, offering a multianalysis nano-probe for spectroscopic studies. ID16 will focus on biomedical research, for instance allowing subcellular processes to be studied, as well as environmental sciences, energy and nanotechnology.
Open for business: February 2014
Scientist in charge Peter Cloetens says: “Application-wise, NINA is extremely important. Many synchrotrons are pushing towards nano-focused beams but NINA will be at the forefront.”

Inelastic hard X-ray scattering for electronic spectroscopy

Where: ID20 (previously ID16)
What: Two end stations offering a spectroscopic tool with all the advantages of a hard X-ray probe – bulk information, high-penetrating power and elemental and spin sensitivity – designed to enhance the ESRF’s inelastic scattering programme. The upgrade will decrease the size of the beam from around 100 microns to 10 microns, allowing experiments at higher pressures. The energy range will also increase from 6–10 KeV to 5–20 KeV, making resonant experiments possible at a larger number of edges and increasing compatibility with more complex sample environments. Finally, more luminous spectrometers will broaden the scientific impact of inelastic X-ray scattering.
Open for business: March 2013
Scientist in charge Giulio Monaco says: “The increased performances of this upgrade beamline will attract a broader group of inelastic X-ray scattering users, in particular those studying low-Z materials for applications in lithium batteries and hydrogen storage.”

Soft X-rays for magnetic and electronic spectroscopy

Where: ID32 (previously ID08)
What: State-of-the art facility for soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy and very high-energy resolution resonant inelastic X-ray scattering, with sophisticated sample environments and tunable X-ray beam sizes ranging from microns to hundreds of microns. The beamline will provide new facilities for users to study the electronic and magnetic properties of materials, offering magnetic dichroism techniques and soft resonant inelastic X-ray scattering to meet the demands of an expanding user community.
Open for business: August 2014
Scientist in charge Nick Brookes says: “Measurements with extremely high-energy resolution of the magnetic, electronic and vibration energy losses will have a tremendous impact in fields like high-temperature superconductivity.”

Time-resolved ultra small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and pump-probe experiments

Where: ID02/ID09 (previously ID2/ID09B)
What: Two independent beamlines. Long beamline ID02 will extend SAXS to ultra-small (microradian) angles with sub-millisecond time resolutions, pushing the technique’s applicability to systems ranging from colloidal plasmas to highly self-assembled biomimetic systems. ID09 is dedicated to time-resolved diffraction and scattering, with picosecond laser pulses initiating structural changes in the sample that can then be probed with ultrashort X-ray pulses.
Open for business: ID02 April 2014; ID09 operational
Scientist in charge of ID02 Theyencheri Narayanan says: “Until now people have mostly studied complex systems comprising passive objects, but the upgrade will provide high resolution and sensitivity allowing the study of active systems such as the physiological activation of a muscle cell.”


Massively automated sample selection integrated facility (MASSIF) for macromolecular crystallography

Where: ID30 and BM29 (previously ID14-3)
What: A unique resource based on second-generation automation for macromolecular crystallography experiments, designed to help structural biologists tackle ever more ambitious projects, such as complex membranes. The hub of the project is a sample-evaluation and sorting facility (MASSIF), from which the most suitable crystals for data collection will be distributed to the best suited of seven end stations (MASSIF-1/-2/-3, ID23-1/-2, ID29 or ID30B). Such screening is vital to cope with the problem of inter- and intra-sample variations in modern macromolecular crystallography experiments.
Open for business: BM29A June 2012; ID30A May 2013; ID30B May 2014
Scientist in charge Christoph Mueller-Dieckmann says: “The goal is to be able to evaluate 1000 samples/day per end station on MASSIF. This degree of automation will benefit structural biologists and the pharmaceutical industry.”


Time resolved and Extreme conditions X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

Where: ID24/BM23 (previously ID24/BM29)
What: High-brilliance energy dispersive X-ray absorption spectroscopy (EDXAS) allows users to study the local and electronic structure of matter in real time and in situ; the behavior of matter under extreme pressures and temperatures, such as those in the Earth’s core; or the structure–function relationship in industrially relevant catalysts. Two independent end stations (EDXAS_S “small spot” and EDXAS_L “large spot”) on ID24 combined with the general purpose EXAFS station on BM23 will permit X-ray absorption spectroscopy in sample volumes 20 times smaller and time resolutions 1000 times better than before.
Open for business: BM23 open; EDXAS_S May 2012; EDXAS_L Sep 2012
Scientist in charge Sakura Pascarelli says: “Scientists can use several other synchrotrons for fast X-ray absorption spectroscopy, but it is the microsecond time resolution for single-shot acquisition coupled to the micrometre-sized spot that makes ID24 unique worldwide.”


Matthew Chalmers



This article appeared in ESRFnews, March 2012. 

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Top image: Plan of the experimental hall post upgrade