A unique, new beamline dedicated to extreme conditions welcomes its first users

24-11-2021

The unique ID27 beamline, dedicated to high-pressure and high-temperature experiments, is welcoming its first users this week. This instrument will be unique worldwide in terms of beam characteristics and sample environment versatility.

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Leonid Dubrovinsky, the main proposer of the first user team at ID27 and professor at the University of Bayreuth (Germany), explains the importance of this new beamline: "As long-term users of the ESRF, we've seen how the capabilities of the beamline have improved over the years, but this is a game-changer: the combination of the new Extremely Brilliant Source with the new beamline opens unique, exciting possibilities to take our experiments further."

The major upgrade that is ongoing at the beamline ID27 will provide significantly higher photon flux density and higher coherence, especially for photon energies above 20 keV, i.e. the energy range most relevant for diffraction and imaging at extreme conditions. This will enable a new class of nano-X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and X-ray imaging studies under extreme Pressure-Temperature conditions.

The direct impact on studies at extreme conditions is that higher pressure and temperature states, which can be generated only in smaller volumes, will be finely characterized. Transient processes under extreme conditions will be observed and submicron sample heterogeneities will also become accessible, at the microsecond time scale, with a deeper understanding of processes such as transport (diffusion, viscosity) or crystallisation/melting, under extreme conditions. 

The new, upgraded high-pressure beamline ID27 will have much higher flux and smaller beam than its predecessor, as well as better detectors. It will enable ultra-high pressure experiments (P> 4 Matm), time-resolved experiments (millisecond resolution), 2-D micro-fluorescence mapping and in situ X-ray imaging.

"I feel very excited to see the project becoming reality", says Mohamed Mezouar, scientist in charge. And he adds: "very challenging experiments are already planned to explore materials under unprecedented pressure and temperature conditions, such as those prevailing deep inside giant planets (Saturn, Jupiter). We can expect breakthroughs in various scientific areas."

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Top image: The first users in the brand new experimental hutch of ID27.