Methods at the PSI User Facilities

The table below summarizes the various methods offered at the PSI user facilities. Please make use of the filter options to find the appropriate beamline and contact address for your scientific problem.
PSI Beamlines and Instruments
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Condensed matter physics
Polymers, colloids and soft condensed matter
Life and medical sciences
Protein and Macromolecular crystallography
Structure determination
Environmental and earth sciences
Materials sciences and engineering
Chemistry and catalytic materials
Multilayers, films and surfaces
Atome, molecules and plasmas
Cultural heritage
Beamline Name + Description Facility

Advanced Resonant Spectroscopies
The beamline is constructed to deliver soft-X-ray radiation and has a Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS) endstation and an Angle-Resolved Photoelectron Emission (ARPES) endstation. The scientific activity at the beamline is focussed on correlated systems (transition metals and rare earths) and nanostructures.
Infrared Micro-Spectrometer
IR spectroscopy is mainly used to investigate the chemical composition of samples. The technique is easy-to-use, non-destructive, and is useful in astronomy, biology, chemistry, and forensic sciences, for example. IR spectroscopy is used as well to investigate low energy excitations in the condensed phase.
Materials Science Beamline - Powder Diffraction
Besides standard structural studies of capillary and flat plate samples, the PD instrument, with its various attachments and detectors, allows investigations of residual stress, texture, and real-time, in-situ processes. Plans exist to use the instrument in both high-resolution and fast access modes for studies of zeolite catalysts, intermetallic hydrogen storage materials, inked polymers, refractory ceramics and metallic multilayers.
Materials Science Beamline - Surface Diffraction
Surface diffraction is a unique tool for determining the detailed atomic structure of crystalline surfaces. Please find a selection of research highlights performed at this endstation on /science/MS/Station2_ResearchEN
Micro X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy
At the microXAS beamline X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) experiments requiring high spatial resolution can be performed. Furthermore, the beamline allows investigations of time-dependent phenomena in the femtosecond time regime.
Combination Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microspectroscope and Scanning Probe Microscope
The NanoXAS endstation consists of a scanning transmission X-ray microscope (STXM) in combination with a scanning probe microscope (SPM). By combining these techniques, the NanoXAS is able to obtain elemental and chemical composition, oxidation states, molecular orientation, topography, surface forces, as well as electric and magnetic properties on a variety of specimens with nanoscale resolution.
PhotoEmission and Atomic Resolution Laboratory
The PEARL (PhotoEmission and Atomic Resolution Laboratory) beamline is dedicated to the structural characterisation of surfaces and adsorbates with atomic resolution X-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD) and scanning tunnelling microscopy.
Macromolecular Crystallography
The first beam line for protein crystallography X06SA (PXI) is particularly suited for large unit cells and small crystals.
Macromolecular Crystallography
The second beam line for protein crystallography has been jointly funded by the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Hoffmann La Roche. The three partners and the Paul Scherrer Institute are therefore the principal users of this facility. The design and construction of beam line X10SA (PXII) is based on the highly successful first beam line X06SA (PXI) and is particularly suited for large unit cells and small crystals. As an option that can be applied for by all users, crystallographic data collection can be complemented by optical spectroscopy with an on-axis microspectrophotometer.
Macromolecular Crystallography
X06DA (PXIII) is the third protein crystallography beamline at the Swiss Light Source. It is funded by a partnership between the Paul Scherrer Institut and Swiss and international pharmaceutical companies (Novartis, Actelion, Boehringer Ingelheim and Proteros). Complementing the existing high performance undulator beamlines X06SA and X10SA, the optical concept and the experimental environment for PXIII have been optimized for simplicity. The beamline receives light from a 2.9T superbend magnet. The optical design results in a sub 100 micron x 100 micron focused beam at the sample position with a total photon flux comparable to an undulator beamline. The experimental station offers both efficient manual mounting with a mini-hutch design and automatic robotic sample mounting. In addition, a crystallization facility will be built in the beamline as well.
Tender X-Ray microspectroscopy
PHOENIX is a microspectroscopy beamline, which covers the energy range between 0.8-8keV, providing access to the K-edges of light elements (Na-Fe), with a beam size of 3X3 micrometre suited for imaging and spectroscopy. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) can be performed in fluorescence, transmission and total electron yield mode.
The beamline offers a versatile sample environment, which allows users to adapt own in situ experiments to the beamline. The tender energy range provides research opportunities in many fields, including environmental science, chemistry, catalysis, energy research, biology, geology, or archaeology.
Highly Versatile Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microspectroscope
PolLUX beamline allows the measuring of chemical maps on the nanometre scale. Such analyses serve materials science in the study of magnetism in nanostructures, which could ultimately lead to new magnetic storage systems. Environmental science also benefits from the PolLUX beamline.
Surfaces / Interfaces Microscopy
The permanent endstation of the SIM beamline is a Photoemission Electron microscope (PEEM) (Model: LEEM III, Elmitec GmbH). It allows to image samples using the photoelectric effect with very high spatial resolution.
Surface and Interface Spectroscopy - High-Resolution-Photoemission Spectroscopy (HRPES)
The Surface and Interface Spectroscopy beamline (SIS) provides a state-of-the-art experimental set-up to study the electronic and atomic structure of surfaces. The beamline has been designed for high photon energy resolution with low harmonic contamination and flexible light polarization. The high-resolution photoemission spectroscopy (HR-PES)endstation is designed for angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES) and photoelectron diffraction (PED)
Surface and Interface Spectroscopy - Complete Photoemission Experiment (COPHEE)
The Surface and Interface Spectroscopy beamline (SIS) provides a state-of-the-art experimental set-up to study the electronic and atomic structure of surfaces. The beamline has been designed for high photon energy resolution with low harmonic contamination and flexible light polarization. COPHEE, the complete photoemission experiment can measure all properties of photoelectrons excited from a sample surface, namely energy, momentum and spin-polarization.
Surface and Interface Spectroscopy - User
The Surface and Interface Spectroscopy beamline (SIS) provides a state-of-the-art experimental set-up to study the electronic and atomic structure of surfaces. The beamline has been designed for high photon energy resolution with low harmonic contamination and flexible light polarization. The User-endstation...
X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy (XAS and XES)
The SuperXAS beamline includes a large variety of detection systems and sample environments and is thus attractive for researchers from a variety of fields: e.g. material science, catalysis, environmental science, biology, geology and archeology. Techniques that are available at the beamline include time resolved X- ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy (minute to the milli second range), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES).
Tomographic Microscopy and Coherent Radiology Experiments
The beamline provides monochromatic as well as white beam to a state-of-the art tomographic microscopy endstation. The endstation performs absorption as well as phase contrast imaging with an isotropic voxel size ranging from 0.360 microns up to 14.8 microns.Phase contrast is obtained either with simple edge-enhancement, a modified transport of intensity approach or with grating interferometry. Typical acquisition times are in the order of few minutes, depending on energy and resolution. The scientific activity at the beamline is focussed on the development of phase contrast imaging techniques, as well as the visualization and quantification of complex 3D-microstructures in biological materials.
Vacuum Ultraviolet Radiation
The scientific activity at the beamline is focussed on reactions and species relevant to low temperature combustion. Laser spectroscopy and time-of-flight mass spectrometry have been applied as means to characterize short-lived intermediate compounds that govern ignition. Expanding the scope of our work, we will use synchrotron radiation in the VUV range for state-selective ionization and dissociation. The tunability of synchrotron light makes it a versatile tool for the mapping of potential energy surfaces.
X-ray Interference Lithography (XIL)
The X-ray interference lithography facility at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) is a unique tool to obtain periodic nanostructures with periods as small as 25nm.The beamline provides spatially coherent beam in the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) energy range. Because of this the technique is also called Extreme-Ultraviolet Interference Lithography (EUV-IL).
X-Ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism under extreme Conditions
The X-Treme beamline is dedicated to x-ray magnetic (circular or linear) dichroism technique in the soft x-ray range. The technique is element selective and is used for example for the study of magnetic anisotropy and exchange coupling. The energy range covers the L2,3-edges (2p to 3d transition) of 3d transition metals and M4,5-edges of lanthanides (3d to 4f transition), in addition to the K-edges of light elements like O, N, F. Scientific areas of interest are: single molecule magnets, magnetic nanocrystals, self-assembly of nanomagnets on surfaces and strongly correlated electron systems.
Coherent Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering
Experimental types being performed include small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) of liquid and solid samples, gracing-incidence small-angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS), coherent difffractive imaging (CDI, SXDM), scanning x-ray microscopy (STXM, scanning SAXS), x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS). The scientific activity at the beamline is focussed on investigations of the structure and dynamics of soft condensed matter systems and on coherent x-ray diffraction and imaging.
Cold Neutron Reflectometer
AMOR is designed as a multi purpose reflectometer adaptable to the experimental demands of surface and interface studies in different fields of research.
Cold Neutron Powder Diffractometer
The cold neutron powder diffractometer DMC is a flexible instrument for efficient neutron powder diffraction studies in the fields of crystallography, solid state physics, chemistry and material science, in particular for the determination of weak magnetic intensities.
Thermal Neutron Triple-Axis Spectrometer
EIGER is a triple axis spectrometer for thermal neutrons at SINQ. It is optimized for high flux, low background and flexibility in beam-optics.
Cold Neutron Time-of-Flight Spectrometer
FOCUS is a direct geometry time-of-flight spectrometer for cold neutrons at SINQ. It is highly flexible and can be optimised widely according to the users' demands.
Thermal Neutron Powder Diffractometer
Complementary to DMC, the multidetector diffractometer HRPT is designed as flexible instrument for efficient neutron powder diffraction studies - also for small sample sizes.
Cold Neutron Radiography Station
The new neutron imaging facility at the neutron spallation source SINQ at the Paul Scherrer Institut has been fully operational since mid 2006.
Cold Neutron Backscattering Spectrometer
MARS is an inverted time-of-flight backscattering spectrometer at SINQ. It is optimized for high resolution inelastic neutron scattering experiments.
Two-axes neutron diffractometer & reflectometer
Reflectometric measurements and simple crystallographic tasks are the domain of Morpheus as well as it is a basis for tests and preliminary measurements in the development of new instrumentation concepts.
Thermal Neutron Radiography Station
The aim of NEUTRA - located at a thermal beam port - is to provide a state-of-the-art tool for scientific and industrial NR-applications.
Pulse Overlap Time-of-Flight Diffractometer
POLDI is a time-of-flight neutron diffractometer. The main applications of POLDI are spatially resolved measurements of residual stresses (strain mapping) and studies of deformation mechanisms in engineering materials.
Cold Neutron Triple-Axis Spectrometer
RITA-II is a triple axis spectrometer for cold neutrons at SINQ. It is highly flexible and can be optimised widely according to the users' demands.
Small Angle Neutron Scattering Facility
SANS-I is a 2x20m small angle scattering facility that enables the use of polarized neutrons and high magnetic fields at the sample position.
Small Angle Neutron Scattering Facility
SANS-II is a 2x6m small angle scattering facility that was formerly operated in Risø National Laboratory, Denmark.
Cold Neutron Triple-Axis Spectrometer
TASP is a cold neutron triple-axis spectrometer that enables the use of polarized neutron experiments with either longitudinal or XYZ polarization analysis and neutron spherical polarimetry.
Thermal Neutron Single Crystal Diffractometer
TriCS is designed for investigations of commensurate and incommensurate crystal and magnetic structures as well as phase transitions driven by temperature, magnetic field or pressure.
Relocatable Surface-Muon Instrument
DOLLY is a instrument using positive surface muons with a momentum of typically 28 MeV/c and a degree of polarization of >95%.
General Purpose Decay-Channel Spectrometer
GPD is a general purpose spectrometer making use of positive or negative muons in the momentum ranges between 60 - 125 MeV/c
General Purpose Surface-Muon Instrument
The GPS Instrument is permanently installed in area πM3.2, using a so-called surface- muon beam (i.e., positive muons originating from the decay of positive pions stopped near the surface of the production target).
High Field muSR Instrument
The HAL-9500 Instrument is permanently installed in area πE3, using a so-called surface- muon beam (i.e with a momentum of 28 MeV/c). It is equipped with a 90 degrees spin-rotation system allowing transverse-field measurements up to 9.5 Tesla
Low Energy Muon Spectrometer
LEM is a worldwide unique instrument for low energy surface muons.
Low Temperature Facility Instrument
The low temperature facility LTF makes use of positive muons in th emomentum range of 5-30 MeV/c with a polarization rate of >95%.