Since construction was completed in 1991, the ESRF has been one of the world’s most brilliant photon sources. It was the very first synchrotron of the third generation type to be built and it is the most powerful and stable source of high energy (6 GeV) X-rays in Europe. A continuous and dynamic research and development programme has placed the ESRF as a pioneer in synchrotron and accelerator physics and technology.


In 2009 an ambitious upgrade of the facility was launched including technological developments on the accelerator complex, resulting, in 2012, in a brighter source and a smaller beam at the sample.

To pursue its advance in the field and push the boundaries of science even further, in 2015 the ESRF launched the Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS) project. The main focus of EBS is the design and implementation of a new low-emittance storage ring to be constructed and commissioned in the existing tunnel, replacing the present one.

On 25 August 2020, ESRF-EBs opened to users. With EBS, the ESRF has once again raised the bar, improving X-ray performances of brilliance and coherence once again by a factor of 100 and opening new vistas for X-ray science. Based on an award-winning lattice design, the HMBA lattice, with innovative magnet technology, this new generation of high-energy synchrotrons paves the way for many new synchrotron projects worldwide.