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discovered 02_2012

COLLABORATIONS// The HZDR Research Magazine WWW.Hzdr.DE 46 47 Since late 2011, ROBL is proud to present itself to its users from Germany and Europe as a completely rebuilt facility. This refurbishment coincides with a seven-year, 180-million- Euro upgrade of the ESRF, which recently saw its halfway mark: between December 2011 and May 2012. For the first time ever since the program was launched in 1994, the whole complex had to be shut down for five months to allow the foundations to be laid for a 12,000 square meter new experimental hall and to install or modify many components of the existing installations. These construction activities had a major impact on the concrete floor of the accelerator, moving it up or down by as much as one centimeter at some points. A complete realignment was necessary, which fortunately did not hamper the machine restart in May. The upgrade will now continue without significant interruptions of normal user operations. The idea of a major upgrade to the ESRF dates back to 2003. “The ESRF was operating extremely well at the time, so one option was to simply keep going,” recalls former ESRF Director-General Bill Stirling, “but after looking at other facilities and labs around the world, we realized that a major upgrade was necessary to maintain the ESRF’s position as one of the best – if not the best – X-ray sources in the world.” By 2015, the ESRF will have unleashed eight new beamline projects, comprising 11 beamlines and 15 stations that can be operated independently. In addition to refurbishments and improvements to existing beamlines and the construction of a science building, the upgrade will ensure that the ESRF meets the scientific demands of users for the rest of the decade. ID24, the first of eight beamline projects, was already completed back in November 2011. It is devoted to time-resolved and extreme- conditions X-ray absorption spectroscopy, exhibiting a performance 20,000 times better than its predecessor and 1,000 times better than anywhere else in the world. As of early 2013, more upgraded beamlines will go into operation one after the other. Smaller, brighter beams of X-rays are the focus of the ESRF upgrade, with beams as small as just ten nanometers allowing users to address the behavior of matter in volumes comprising just a few thousand atoms. In addition to major improvements to the accelerator complex, most of which are // BM20 – this is the name by which the HZDR and the Rossendorf Beamline (ROBL) are known to the 1,000 people working on the site of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble. BM20 is actually a house number, as it denotes the “bending magnet in sector 20,” where the brilliant beams of X-rays for the ROBL scientists are produced. _TEXT . Claus Habfast Halfway mark for the ESRF upgrade program REAL-TIME RESEARCH: X-rays allow for the study of chemical reactions under extreme conditions. Here, a catalytic cell sample is heated under in-situ conditions. A major automobile manufacturer has successfully used this technology at the ESRF to improve catalyst longevity. Image credit: ESRF/B. Gorges