Laboratory for Advanced Photonics (LAP)

The Laboratory for Advanced Photonics is responsible for the design and the realisation of novel schemes for Insertion Devices, Optics, Photon Diagnostics and Instrumentation for the Swiss Light Source (SLS) as well as for the Swiss X-ray Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL). In collaboration with other divisions of PSI, we coordinate new large photon science projects, such as the SLS upgrade (SLS 2.0) and the second beamline of SwissFEL Athos.

20 June 2018

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Movie directors with extra roles

SwissFEL Storage Large Research Facilities

Data storage devices based on novel materials are expected to make it possible to record information in a smaller space, at higher speed, and with greater energy efficiency than ever before. Movies shot with the X-ray laser show what happens inside potential new storage media, as well as how the processes by which the material switches between two states can be optimised.

20 June 2018

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MOOCs – a paradigm shift in education

In March 2018, the nine-week MOOC “Introduction to synchrotrons and x-ray free-electron lasers” (abbreviated to “SYNCHROTRONx”) came online via the edX provider of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), created by Phil Willmott of the Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute. “MOOC” is an acronym for “massive open online course”, a teaching platform started in the first decade of this century, which has become increasingly popular in the last five to six years. MOOCs have no limits to participation and are free. Some of the most popular MOOCs can attract many tens of thousands of participants. Even the most specialized subjects may have an initial enrollment of over a thousand, more than an order of magnitude larger than that typically found in traditional higher education. There were over 70 million MOOC enrollments covering nearly 10’000 subjects offered by the top five providers in 2017 alone!

30 May 2018

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Hollywood in the Würenlingen woods

SwissFEL Biology Large Research Facilities

With the X-ray laser SwissFEL, researchers at PSI want to produce movies of biomolecules in action. This can reveal how our eyes function or how new drugs work.

6 April 2018


A first glance at the SwissFEL x-rays wave-front

X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs) combine the properties of synchrotron radiation (short wavelengths) and laser radiation (high lateral coherence, ultrashort pulse durations). These outstanding machines allow to study ultra-fast phenomena at an atomic level with unprecedented temporal resolution for answering the most intriguing open questions in biology, chemistry and physics.

19 March 2018

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First Single-Shot SASE spectra of SwissFEL successfully measured

The team of the Laboratory for Advanced Photonics (LAP) has succeeded to perform the first set of shot-to-shot measurements of the SwissFEL generated spectrum.

17 December 2017

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First Pilot Experiment at SwissFEL-Alvra: UV photo-induced charge transfer in OLED system

On the 17th of December 2017 SwissFEL saw its first pilot experiment in the Alvra experimental station of the SwissFEL ARAMIS beamline.

30 November 2017

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First time resolved Pilot Experiment by SwissFEL: Semiconductor to metal transition in Ti3O5 nanocrystals

On the 30th of November 2017 SwissFEL saw its first time resolved pilot experiment in the Bernina experimental station of the SwissFEL ARAMIS beamline. A team of scientists from the University of Rennes, ESRF and PSI, led by Marco Cammarata (Univ. Rennes) and Henrik Lemke (PSI), successfully started the experimental phase at SwissFEL.

20 October 2017

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First light in SwissFEL Experimental Station Bernina

Friday, October 20th, 2017, we brought the first light (wavelength 1.2 nm) into the experimental hutch of Bernina. The beam passed the Alvra endstation, went through the diagnostic devices and hit the diagnostic screen in front of the refocussing KB-system of Bernina. The upper picture shows the pink beam on the last diagnostic screen of the beamline. The lower left at the entrance of Bernina-hutch, 133 m downstream of the undulator. The lower right picture shows the beam centered in the alignment iris in front of the KB-system.

17 September 2017


ATHOS Conceptual Design Report (CDR)

The ATHOS Conceptual Design Report has recently been completed and describes the ATHOS project in detail. The CDR starts with a summary of the characteristics of the ATHOS undulator line. Especially the design parameters of the different ATHOS operation modes are explained and illustrated by simulation results. The core part of the report is a description of all key components, i.e. from the electron bunch extraction kicker down to the ATHOS experimental stations.

16 May 2017

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First lasing at a wavelength of 4.1 nm

The electron beam energy of SwissFEL was recently increased to above 900 MeV by successfully bringing two new accelerating modules into operation. This allowed SwissFEL to produce laser radiation for the first time in the soft x-ray regime with a photon wavelength of 4.1 nm. During the next months, the electron beam energy will be progressively further increased with the goal of enabling first user experiments at a wavelength of around 0.5 nm towards the end of this year.