About us


After the succesful delivery of the first phase of its upgrade programme (2009-2015), the ESRF has launched, on May 2015, the ESRF – Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF – EBS) project: this project is focused on the construction of a new and highly innovative 844 metres storage ring. It represents an investment of 150M€ over the period 2015-2022.

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 pave the way to provide new tools for the investigation of condensed matter and life science, which will better worldwide scientific cooperation and the quest to finding durable answers to the great technological, economic, societal and environmental challenges facing our society.
Francesco Sette, Director General of the ESRF


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

The construction of a new – the first of a kind – storage ring, inside the existing infrastructure, with performances 100 times superior to present day synchrotrons
A new state-of-the-art beamlines portfolio and users’ support facilities adapted to the new research opportunities
An important instrumentation programme, in particular for the development of new high performance X-ray detectors
An ambitious “data as a service” strategy in order to fully exploit the high performance of the new X-ray source


EBS new storage ring is based on a ground-breaking lattice concept, the Hybrid Multi-Bend Achromat (HMBA) or Raimondi lattice (Figure 2), which has become the design basis of most future fourth-generation synchro- tron sources in the world. The new lattice will improve the brilliance of the ESRF light source by a factor of 100 while ful lling the constraint to keep the original beamline infrastructure, thanks to an innovative magnet design. With its larger dynamic aperture, smaller sextupole settings, and smaller emittance with respect to previous proposals, the HMBA lattice has made a large impact on the light source community. The ESRF’s Accelerator and Source Director, Dr. Pantaleo Raimondi, was recently awarded the 2017 Gersh Budker Prize by the European Physical Society Accelerator Group (EPS-AG) for the invention of the Hybrid Multi-Bend Achromat (HMBA) lattice.

330M€ IN 2009-2022 PERIOD


The new storage ring, together with the most advanced portfolio of new beamlines, will enable scientists to bring X-ray science into research domains and applications that could not have been imagined a few years ago. With performances 100 times superior to present day synchrotrons, EBS will provide new tools for the investigation of materials and living matter from the macroscopic world down to the nanometre scale and even down to the single atom.

On June 27, 2017, the ESRF Council, representing the 22 partner nations of the synchrotron, gave the green light for the construction and commissioning of four new beamlines. These new beamlines, designed for the full exploitation of the enhanced performance of the first fourth-generation high-energy synchrotron, will enable scientists to write a new chapter in X-ray science:

Serial crystallography on macromolecular nano-crystals
Microscopy by hard X-ray diffraction on material complexity
Coherent X-rays for dynamics and imaging at the nano-scale
Large field phase-contrast tomography on meter-sized objects with nano–scale 3D-spatial resolution: GIGA-RANGE

Challenges and opportunities are many: inventing new, more targeted medicines, more effective treatments for cancer, creating more functional and sustainable 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. What’s more, they will provide unique opportunities for applied and innovation-driven research. The four new beamlines will be built between 2018 and 2022.

The ESRF – the European Synchrotron – is an international science facility supported by 22 partner nations, a centre of excellence for fundamental research, also committed to applied and industrial research.

Located in Grenoble, France, the ESRF is the most intense source of synchrotron-generated light, producing X-rays 100 billion times brighter than the X-rays used in hospitals. Each year, thousand of scientists from all around the world come to Grenoble to access the 44 highly specialised experimental stations, called « beamlines », each equiped with state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Functionning like a « super-microscope », due to the brilliance and quality of its X-rays, the ESRF reveals the structure of matter in all its beauty and complexity. It provides unrivalled opportunities for scientists in the exploration of materials and living matter in a very wide variety of fields: chemistry, material physics, archaeology and cultural heritage, structural biology and medical applications, environmental sciences, information science and nanotechnologies.