SwissFEL

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Overview: SwissFEL – the new large-scale facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute

The next large-scale facility at PSI – the X-ray laser SwissFEL – should come on-line in 2016. It will produce very short pulses of X-ray light, with laser-like properties. Researchers will be able to use these pulses to visualize extremely fast processes, such as how new molecules are created in a chemical reaction; to determine the detailed structure of vital proteins; or to determine the relationship between electronic and atomic structure in materials. From such studies, researchers will gain insights which are not possible to obtain with the methods available today.

20. November 2014

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SwissFEL ready for assembly

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

Researchers from PSI have spent the last four years developing key technologies for the X-ray laser SwissFEL and subjecting them to the acid test in the injector test facility. Now that the development programme has drawn to a close, the installation of the new large-scale research facility is due to get underway in early 2015.

14. October 2014

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A large scale research facility disappears in the woods

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

The building of the new PSI large-scale research facility SwissFEL in Würenlingen forest could only enjoy the sunshine for a brief spell: it is now disappearing under a mound of earth. This superstructure is one of the measures taken to integrate the facility as harmoniously as possible into the natural environment.

4. September 2014

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New material generated with light

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Large Scale Facilities Materials Research Matter and Material SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments

PSI researchers garner experience for SwissFEL experiments
Aided by short laser flashes, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have managed to temporarily change a material’s properties to such a degree that they have – to a certain extent –created a new material. This was done using the x-ray laser “LCLS” in California. Once the PSI x-ray laser SwissFEL is up and running, experiments of this kind will also be possible at PSI.

25. June 2014

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Tag der offenen SwissFEL-Baustelle

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

Vergangenen Sonntag luden das Paul Scherrer Institut PSI und die Arbeitsgemeinschaft EquiFEL Suisse die Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner der Umgebung zum Tag der offenen SwissFEL-Baustelle ein. Rund 600 Interessierte informierten sich an mehreren Stationen über den aktuellen Bau- und Projektstand.
This news release is only available in German.

21. May 2014

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Big building on a millimetre scale

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

For the electrons to reach the necessary energy level, their path in the linear accelerator needs to be absolutely straight. Even the slightest bend means a loss of energy, which the comparatively short SwissFEL linear accelerator cannot afford. Consequently, even the earth’s curvature needs to be balanced out while constructing the building, which not only requires state-of-the-art measurement technology, but also continuous monitoring.

20. March 2014

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Interactive media table on SwissFEL

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction SwissFEL Technology

In 2016, SwissFEL at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI will go on-line. In the visitors` centre psi forum, the new large-scale research facility can already be explored today. An interactive media table will accompany SwissFEL from the construction phase, through commissioning, up to regular operation.

6. March 2014

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Observed live with x-ray laser: electricity controls magnetism

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Materials Research Matter and Material SwissFEL

Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI demonstrate how the magnetic structure can be altered quickly in novel materials. The effect could be used in efficient hard drives of the future.


14. February 2014

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The art of tailor-made engineering

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

Preventing SwissFEL electrons from going astray
Cost-effective and with a minimal error rate –PSI-engineers from the power electronics section have set ambitious goals for the SwissFEL magnet power supplies.

28. January 2014

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High-tech right up to the roof

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

The construction work in the woods is well underway: the building for SwissFEL, the Paul Scherrer Institute’s new large-scale facility, is due for completion by the end of 2014. The demands on the building are high: It needs to ensure that the sensitive equipment can run smoothly.

8. November 2013

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The SwissFEL facility: laser light from “avalanche-like amplification”

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

SwissFEL will create X-ray light with laser-like characteristics. The strong amplification of the light needed is produced by a process known as “micro-bunching” – electron packets break up in the undulator into thin layers which emit light in phase. At the same time, another process called “seeding” is being studied, in which one will be able to establish the properties of the light even more precisely.

15. August 2013

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The SwissFEL facility: the undulator section – where the light is produced

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

X-ray light is produced in SwissFEL when electrons accelerated in its linear accelerator are forced to follow a wavy path. This takes place within the undulators – regular arrangements of magnets that bend the electron beam. The whole undulator section will be 60 metres long.

11. August 2013

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Magnetisation controlled at picosecond intervals

Media Releases Matter and Material Materials Research SwissFEL

A terahertz laser developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute makes it possible to control a material’s magnetisation precisely at a timescale of picoseconds. In their experiment, the researchers shone extremely short light pulses from the laser onto a magnetic material. The light pulse’s magnetic field was able to deflect the magnetic moments from their idle state in such a way that they exactly followed the change of the laser’s magnetic field with only a minor delay. The terahertz laser used in the experiment is one of the strongest of its kind in the world.

31. July 2013

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The SwissFEL facility: the linear accelerator

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

In the linear accelerator, the electron beam receives the kinetic energy it needs in order to generate X-ray light. The linear accelerator is, in total, more than 300 metres long and at its heart there are 11,752 specially shaped copper discs in which the accelerating field is created.

26. July 2013

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The SwissFEL facility: the electron source

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

The electron beam for SwissFEL will be generated in an electron source. The demands of this component are very high: in order for the SwissFEL to be operated successfully, the electron beam must be of the highest quality from the very beginning.

18. July 2013

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First SwissFEL accelerator structure completed

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

At the PSI, the first accelerator structure has been completed for the linear accelerator of SwissFEL. A total of 104 of these structures are needed to accelerate the electrons to the required energy to produce the X-ray pulses in SwissFEL. The component manufactured using high-precision technology is currently undergoing high-performance testing.

3. July 2013

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Laying of the corner stone for the new large-scale research facility SwissFEL

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

At the ceremony on 3 July 2013, not only did the PSI lay the corner stone for the new large-scale research facility SwissFEL, but it also paved the way for the continuation of twenty-five years of successful research at the institute.

7. May 2013

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The idea-collector

SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Large Scale Facilities

The X-ray laser SwissFEL will provide researchers with novel experimental opportunities for gaining insights into a large variety of materials and processes. But, how do we identify which scientists will benefit most from the facility and in what way the facility should be configured to best meet their needs? Bruce Patterson, the SwissFEL’s idea-collector, explains how this search is done.

30. April 2013

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Alternativ-Routen für Velofahrer und Fussgänger

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

Durch die Bauarbeiten für den SwissFEL kommt es im Würenlinger Wald zu Sperrungen und Umleitungen. Alternativ-Routen für Velofahrer und Fussgänger werden angeboten.
This news release is only available in German.

25. April 2013

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Beginning of construction in the Würenlingen forest

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

Construction work for SwissFEL has now started in the Würenlingen forest, and the building for this new Large-Scale Facility for the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI will be erected during the next year and a half.

24. April 2013

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Research at SwissFEL: Looking into magnetic materials

SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Materials Research

Materials with special magnetic properties play an important role in modern technologies – for example, in the hard disc drives used to store data on a computer. Research at SwissFEL will help us to develop new magnetic materials, and to observe the fast processes in these materials as they happen. Thus, we will be able to see exactly what happens inside a hard disc when its data content is modified.

8. April 2013

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X-ray Laser: A novel tool for structural studies of nano-particles

Media Releases SwissFEL Matter and Material

Prominent among the planned applications of X-ray free electron laser facilities, such as the future SwissFEL at the Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI, are structural studies of complex nano-particles, down to the scale of individual bio-molecules. A major challenge for such investigations is the mathematical reconstruction of the particle form from the measured scattering data. Researchers at PSI have now demonstrated an optimized mathematical procedure for treating such data, which yields a dramatically improved single-particle structural resolution. The procedure was successfully tested at the Swiss Light Source synchrotron at PSI.

28. February 2013

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A green light for SwissFEL

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

The completion of all required approvals gives a green light for the construction of SwissFEL, the new large-scale facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI.

22. February 2013

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Research at SwissFEL: Seeing through the building blocks of life

SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments

Experiments at SwissFEL will help us understand important processes in living organisms. They will reveal how vital biomolecules, whose structures cannot be determined using current techniques – are constructed. They will also reveal how the shapes of these molecules change. This knowledge will help us understand disease processes and to develop the drugs needed to treat them.

22. February 2013

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Building rights agreement signed

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

A new Large-Scale Research Facility, SwissFEL, is to be built in the Würenlingen forest, very close to the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). On Friday, February 22, 2013, the building permit was signed with the Citizens’ Commune of Würenlingen.

8. February 2013

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Focussed construction expertise for the SwissFEL

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

The joint venture “EquiFEL Suisse”, a consortium of three well-established Swiss companies, has been awarded the contract as general contractor for the construction of the SwissFEL building and for providing the necessary technical infrastructure. The contract for work and services was signed by the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the joint venture yesterday evening.

29. January 2013

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SwissFEL – The facility

SwissFEL Background SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

Inside the SwissFEL, electrons will be accelerated to almost the speed of light, then forced along a curved pathway by very powerful magnets, emitting X-ray light as they travel. SwissFEL is thus composed of an ‘electron gun’ (which generates the electron beam), an accelerator, and an undulator in which the electrons are guided along a wave-like path. An experimental area lies at the end of this track, where the light produced will be used to perform experiments.

17. January 2013

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The advantages of SwissFEL: Why X-rays?

SwissFEL

SwissFEL will generate very short pulses of intense X-ray light with laser-like properties, and will therefore provide new insights into a wide variety of materials. The properties of this special "SwissFEL light" will broaden the scope of experiments that can be carried out at this facility.

10. January 2013

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Watching substances convert

SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments

Experiments at SwissFEL will help us understand in detail how one substance is transformed into another during a chemical reaction. Highest priority will be given to catalytic reactions, as these have numerous industrial applications. This research will point the way towards more energy-efficient industrial processes and environmentally-friendly energy carriers.

3. September 2012

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Erschliessungsarbeiten für den SwissFEL starten

SwissFEL, SwissFEL Construction

Am 3. September 2012 starten die Erschliessungsarbeiten zur neuen Grossforschungsanlage SwissFEL des Paul Scherrer Instituts. Mit ihnen wird die für den SwissFEL notwendige Anbindung an die vorhandene PSI-Infrastruktur hergestellt.
This news release is only available in German.

11. July 2012

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Ultra-short X-ray laser pulses precisely surveyed for the first time

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology Micro- and Nanotechnology

X-ray lasers are modern light sources from which scientists expect to obtain new knowledge about the structure and function of materials at the atomic level. The scientific value of an X-ray laser stands or falls on the quality of the ultra-short X-ray pulses it produces and which researchers use to illuminate their samples. An international team led by scientists from the Paul Scherer Institute, PSI, has now precisely measured these pulses

12. June 2012

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Baugesuch zu Erschliessungsarbeiten für den SwissFEL eingereicht

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

Das Paul Scherrer Institut hat am 5. Juni 2012 bei der Gemeinde Würenlingen sein Baugesuch für die Erschliessungsarbeiten zur neuen Grossforschungsanlage SwissFEL eingereicht. Die Ausführung der Erschliessungsarbeiten ist für den Zeitraum August 2012 bis Januar 2013 geplant.
This news release is only available in German.

12. June 2012

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Baugespanne im Würenlinger Wald

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

Wer in den nächsten Monaten über den Oberen Priorhölzliweg spazierengeht und aufmerksam in den Wald späht, der kann sie entdecken: Das PSI reicht in der zweiten Juniwoche bei der Gemeinde Würenlingen offiziell das Baugesuch für seine neue Grossforschungsanlage SwissFEL ein und hat dafür - wie es für alle Baugesuche üblich ist – auch das zugehörige Baugespann aufstellen lassen.
This news release is only available in German.

17. March 2012

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Grosspumpversuch auf geplantem SwissFEL-Gelände

SwissFEL SwissFEL Construction

Zur Kühlung des SwissFEL soll Grundwasser genutzt werden. Ein Grosspumpversuch soll nachweisen, dass durch die Wasserentnahme der Grundwasserspiegel nicht übermässig abgesenkt wird und dass insbesondere die Trinkwasserversorgung von Würenlingen, Döttingen und Klein-Döttingen nicht beeinträchtigt wird. Während des Versuchs werden im Juli 2012 zwei Wochen lang 50 Liter Grundwasser pro Sekunde abgepumpt und in die Aare geleitet. Gleichzeitig wird der Grundwasserspiegel an den verschiedenen Entnahmestellen beobachtet. Die Vorbereitungen für den Versuch beginnen im März 2012.
This news release is only available in German.

7. February 2012

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Kooperation für perfekte Beschleunigung (in German)

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Cooperation Industrial co-operation

Mehr als 10'000 Einzelteile – alle auf den Tausendstelmillimeter exakt – sollen bei der Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Paul Scherrer Institut PSI und Oerlikon Mechatronics AG, Trübbach gebaut werden und am Ende für perfekte Beschleunigung im SwissFEL, dem geplanten Röntgenlaser des PSI sorgen. Für den SwissFEL-Linearbeschleuniger wird Oerlikon Mechatronics die sogenannten Kupfertassen herstellen (komplex geformte und hochpräzise Scheiben) und diese zu Hohlräumen (Kavitäten) zusammenfügen, in denen sich die nötigen beschleunigenden Kräfte erzeugen lassen.
This news release is only available in German.

23. January 2012

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It works: Ultrafast magnetic processes observed ‘live’ using an X-ray laser

Media Releases Matter and Material SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Materials Research

In first-of-their-kind experiments performed at the American X-ray laser LCLS, a collaboration led by researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute has been able to precisely follow how the magnetic structure of a material changes. The change of structure was initiated by a laser pulse, and investigated with the help of short X-ray pulses. It appears as if the structure begins to change 400 femtoseconds after the laser pulse strikes. Such investigations will be a major focus of research at the planned Swiss X-ray Laser, SwissFEL, at PSI.

9. December 2011

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Schweizer Hochpräzision stabilisiert den SwissFEL

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Cooperation Industrial co-operation

Das Paul Scherrer Institut PSI und die MDC Max Daetwyler AG (Bleienbach), haben heute einen Vertrag unterzeichnet, nach dem Daetwyler wesentliche Komponenten für den Röntgenlaser SwissFEL, die neue Grossforschungsanlage des PSI, gemeinsam mit dem PSI entwickeln und bauen wird. Die Massnahmen des Bundes zur Abfederung der Frankenstärke erlauben es, den Bau der Komponenten vorzuziehen und so das SwissFEL-Projekt schneller voranzutreiben.
This news release is only available in French and German.

7. September 2011

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Diamanten sind auch des Forschers bester Freund

Media Releases SwissFEL Micro- and Nanotechnology SwissFEL Technology

Einem vom PSI geleiteten Forscherteam ist es gelungen, harte Röntgenlaserstrahlung 100'000-fach zu konzentrieren und so an einem Punkt Röntgenstrahlung zu erzeugen, die so intensiv war wie wohl nirgends zuvor. Als Linsen verwendeten die Forscher winzige Ringstrukturen aus Diamant – dem Material, das am besten dem Röntgenlaserlicht standhält. Diese Entwicklung schafft die Voraussetzung für einen Teil der Experimente am SwissFEL, dem geplanten Röntgenlaser des PSI.
This news release is only available in German.

30. November 2009

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Schweizer Spitzenforschung in Europäischer Grossforschungsanlage

Media Releases SwissFEL

Heute haben die Vertreter von zehn Staaten im Hamburger Rathaus an der Vertragsunterzeichnung für den Bau des European XFEL teilgenommen. Die Schweiz ist am Aufbau der Anlage beteiligt und wird zum Gelingen des Projekts an entscheidenden Stellen mit Know-how beitragen, das am Paul Scherrer Institut entwickelt worden ist.
This news release is only available in German.



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