SwissFEL experiments

6 April 2017

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Second beamline for SwissFEL

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology SwissFEL Experiments

This year the first pilot experiments are starting at the free-electron X-ray laser SwissFEL. The X-ray light generated by SwissFEL will enable a broad spectrum of experiments. Beginning in 2020, a second beamline will provide for a still greater variety.

22 August 2016

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Catching proteins in the act

Media Releases SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Biology Human Health

Proteins are indispensable building blocks of life. They play a vital role in many biological processes. Researchers have now been able to show how the ultrafast processes by which proteins do their work can be studied with free-electron X-ray lasers such as SwissFEL at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. Free-electron X-ray lasers generate extremely short and intense pulses of X-ray light. Currently there are just two such facilities in operation, worldwide. The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

26. May 2015

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Together, not alone

Research Using Synchrotron Light SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Human Health

Decoding biomolecules at SwissFEL and SLS
Proteins are a coveted but stubborn research object. A method developed for x-ray free-electron lasers and PSI’s future SwissFEL should now help researchers to make good headway in this field. It involves x-raying many small, identical protein samples consecutively at short intervals, thereby avoiding the main problem that protein research has faced thus far: producing samples in a sufficient size.

17. February 2015


Prepared for the SwissFEL

SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Large Research Facilities

For many years, PSI researchers have been testing experimental methods that will provide insights into novel materials for electronic devices. Using a special trick to make the Swiss Light Source (SLS) at PSI generate light with similar properties to that of PSI’s x-ray laser SwissFEL, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the experiments planned for SwissFEL are possible and they are now building an experimental station at SwissFEL.

4. September 2014


New material generated with light

Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Large Research 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.

7. May 2013


The idea-collector

SwissFEL SwissFEL Experiments Large Research 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.

24. April 2013


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.

22. February 2013


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.

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.

23. January 2012


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.