New perspectives for science and technology
Future X-ray science at modern synchrotrons aims to bridge the gap between visible light and electron microscopy, enabling resolution from 10¹² atoms down to the nanometre scale. Such incredible range is made possible by improvements in the brightness and resolution of X-ray sources. The ESRF Extremely Brilliant Source project will deliver X-ray beams of higher brightness and transverse coherence allowing a smaller X-ray beam size down to the nanoscale. This will provide unprecedented tools for the following generations of scientists to discover further fields in the scientific exploration of matter and its dynamic from the atomic length scale up to the dimensions of real devices and products.
Many fields of fundamental and applied research are concerned: nanoscopy for the conception of new materials, science in extreme conditions (planetary science, technological materials), multidimensional (3D, time, chemical, etc.) nano-imaging, structural biology and medicine, materials science, nanotechnologies, environmental science and energy.
Challenges and opportunities are many: inventing new, more targeted medicines, more effective treatments for cancer, creating more functional and optimised materials, defining a new generation of semiconductors for the electronics industry, improving energy management, contributing to the production of healthier food, understanding the composition of our planet, unravelling the mysteries of humanity, preserving our cultural heritage.