SwissFEL technology

29 May 2017

teaser picture

To the limits of the feasible

Large Research Facilities SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

The company Daetwyler made the undulators for the free-electron X-ray laser SwissFEL of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, to a precision of one-tenth of the width of a hair.

6 April 2017

teaser picture

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.

26 September 2016

teaser picture

SwissFEL in the home stretch: The first electrons are here

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology

SwissFEL building, 24 August 2016: In the control room above the beam tunnel of the free electron X-ray laser SwissFEL, the atmosphere is intense and focussed. Marco Pedrozzi’s team has big plans for this late August afternoon. The last adjustments have been made — it’s time to press the big button and start up the electron source. The goal: SwissFEL should generate its first electrons. A report.

21. December 2015

teaser picture

To the beam tunnel

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology SwissFEL Construction

Since the autumn of 2015, the SwissFEL beam tunnel has been filling up with the machine components for the new PSI large research facility. Piece by piece, the pre-assembled components are being brought to their final destination.

30. September 2015

teaser picture

Perfect beamlines go unnoticed

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology SwissFEL Background Large Research Facilities SwissFEL Construction

Interview with Luc Patthey
Luc Patthey is in charge of designing and implementing the beamlines for the X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL. In this Interview, he explains the requirements the beamlines need to meet for the X-ray light pulses generated by SwissFEL to reach the experiments in an optimal form and what role collaborations play in the development of beamlines.

22. May 2015


First undulators reach the SwissFEL building

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology SwissFEL Construction

The first undulator frames have arrived at the SwissFEL building. They will take around six months to assemble, after which the finished undulators will be taken to the SwissFEL accelerator tunnel for installation.

24. March 2015


Split x-ray flash reveals rapid processes

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology Micro- and Nanotechnology

SwissFEL, PSI’s x-ray laser, is to render the individual steps of very rapid processes visible. A new method will facilitate especially precise experiments: the individual x-ray flashes are split into several parts that arrive at the object under examination one by one. The principle of the method harks back to the ideas of the earliest high-speed photography.

20. November 2014


SwissFEL ready for assembly

SwissFEL SwissFEL Technology SwissFEL Construction

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 research facility is due to get underway in early 2015.

7. October 2014


The last piece of the puzzle

SwissFEL Technology

Julia H. Smith is a postdoctoral fellow working on detectors for the SwissFEL x-ray free electron laser, which can be envisioned as the eyes of the new PSI large-scale facility. During her time at PSI, she has a good chance of accompanying her detector up to its use at the new facility. Even more important than witnessing the first experiments at SwissFEL is acquiring new knowledge and skills during my time as a postdoc at PSI. Smith would like to continue working in the field of detectors and technology development after her postdoc – at a company or at another research institute.

20. March 2014


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 research facility can already be explored today. An interactive media table will accompany SwissFEL from the construction phase, through commissioning, up to regular operation.

14. February 2014


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.

8. November 2013


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


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.

31. July 2013


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


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


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.

29. January 2013


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.

11. July 2012


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

7. September 2011


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.