A new generation of high-energy synchrotron

ESRF–EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source) is the ESRF’s 150M€ facility upgrade, over 2015-2022, bringing its scientific users a first-of-a-kind, low-emittance, high-energy synchrotron light source and new, cutting-edge beamlines. With a revolutionary new storage ring concept that increases the brilliance and coherence of the X-ray beams produced by a factor of 100 compared to present-day light sources, ESRF–EBS represents a new generation of synchrotron and an extraordinary new tool for scientists to study the heart of matter.


A scientific and technological challenge

ESRF–EBS consists of four components:

  • A new storage ring based on an ESRF-developed hybrid multi-bend achromat (HMBA), producing extremely brilliant X-rays and open to users in 2020.

  • Four brand-new flagship beamlines over the period 2020-2022, covering a multitude of scientific techniques, making it possible to study the structure of matter at the atomic level in greater detail, with higher quality, much faster:

          -    EBSL1: Coherence applications – dynamics and imaging at the nanoscale;
          -    EBSL2: Hard X-ray diffraction microscopy on material complexity;
          -    EBSL3: High-throughput large-field phase-contrast tomography,
          -    EBSL8: Serial synchrotron crystallography on macromolecular nanocrystals.

  • An ambitious scientific instrumentation programme, including high-performance X-ray detectors.
  • A data strategy to fully exploit the performances of the new X-ray source.

New science to tackle global challenges

With X-ray performances multiplied by 100 compared to before, ESRF-EBS hails a new era for X-ray science in the 3D exploration of matter at all scales and down to the atomic scale, and for the understanding of life at the macromolecular level, enabling scientists to address the major global challenges facing our society today, including:

  • Health innovation and biology
  • Climate and the environment
  • Energy and sustainable economy
  • Materials and innovative industry
  • World cultural heritage
  • Earth sciences and planetary research

Imagine a 3D-scan of full human organs or of an entire body at micrometer resolution. Or to uncover the brain circuitry at the neuronal level with nanometer resolution. Imagine a virtual autopsy of a mummy in its sarcophagus down to cellular level. Or a 3-D scan of a T-REX-dinosaur's skull down to the growth lines of the teeth: age, pathologies ... Imagine neutralizing NOx pollution in Diesel engines or following lithium atoms during battery cycling.

Such capabilities will enable scientists to better understand complexity in condensed and living matter and thus, to better understand the world around us, and our origins.

A bright example of international cooperation

Since its inception in 1988, the ESRF has driven synchrotron science worldwide. Nations from Europe, and then from other parts of the world, decided to share the dream of creating unique opportunities for new knowledge at the service of the whole scientific community, and thus humanity. Driven by scientific and technological excellence, ready to take and share the risk of the unknown, recognising the value of international cooperation beyond discipline, gender, language and culture, the ESRF partner countries – with the successful within-budget and on-time realisation of the EBS programme – have set a new standard in international collaboration.


Further information