ESRF Upgrade Programme: Beamline portfolio 2015

The first phase of the Upgrade includes the development of eight Upgrade Beamline projects along with refurbishment of existing beamlines.

Beamline floor plan

The “Purple Book” of October 2007 mapped out the science case for the Upgrade Programme and listed ideas for over 40 new beamlines at the ESRF. In May 2008, the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) of the ESRF selected eleven candidate beamlines from this list for further study within Phase 1 of the Upgrade. Brainstorming sessions with external experts and users served to hone the science cases and explore the technological limits of the candidate beamlines. A Conceptual Design Report for each candidate beamline enabled the SAC, in November 2008 and May 2009, to select the eight new beamline projects for the first phase of the Upgrade.


Conceptual design reports for the upgrade beamlines of phase 1

Upgrade beamline project nameTitleOriginating from beamline(s)Future beamline ID (revised since CDR)
UPBL1Diffraction imaging for nano analysis
UPBL2High energy beamline for buried interface structures and materials processing
UPBL4Nano-imaging and nano-analysis
UPBL6Inelastic hard  X-ray scattering for electronic spectroscopy
UPBL7Soft X-rays for magnetic and electronic spectroscopy



UPBL10Massively automated sample selection integrated facility for macromolecular crystallography
UPBL11Time resolved and extreme conditions X-ray absoption spectroscopy

In parallel, a large-scale exercise was undertaken to establish how the entire portfolio of ESRF beamlines will develop by 2015, and how the existing beamlines had to be refurbished to benefit from new technologies developed as part of the Upgrade. For each existing beamline at the ESRF, a Conceptual Design Report (CDR) was established in the course of 2009, describing the science case and future development of the beamline.

The 30 CDRs of both existing and new beamlines were endorsed by the SAC at its meeting in May 2009 and the core of these documents can be accessed using the links below.


Conceptual design reports for the ESRF beamline portfolio


Beamline floor plan

The construction of the Upgrade Beamlines makes necessary closure and/or removal of some existing beamlines. The beamline floor plan 2015 was developed to also cluster beamlines linked by science or support facilities when this is beneficial and feasible.

Performance improvement for the ESRF beamline portfolio

In an effort to quantify which effect the Upgrade Programme will have on the overall performance of the ESRF, several indicators have been developed to quantify, for each beamline, the performance of its principal components:

  • Source properties
  • Beam properties at sample position
  • Beamline length
  • Detector system
  • Automation and throughput
  • (Sample environment)


The improvement of the performance during the Upgrade has been calculated for these components for the beamlines in the table below in order to calculate an overall performance improvement of ESRF beamlines during the Upgrade.

Depending on their nature, the improvement from a given component contributes to the overall performance of a beamline either in an additive or in a multiplicative manner. Also, it is evident that it is impossible to define quantitative numbers on the improvement of a beamline’s sample environment, therefore information of sample environment was collected, but excluded from the calculation of the overall performance factors.

The table below lists, for each upgraded or refurbished ESRF beamline, its capacity (in terms of a full beamline equivalent) before and after the Upgrade along with the overall performance improvement factors.


ID/BMcapacity before upgradeactioncapacity after upgradeperformance improvement factormain improvement
ID011UPBL111950focusing, detection
ID09B0.5UPBL9B12400flux density, detection
ID101refurbish120flux density
ID16A0UPBL4-NI12800flux density, detection, automation
ID16B1UPBL4-NA1660flux density, detection, automation
ID191refurbish11750resolution, detection, speed
ID201UPBL613100flux density, detection
BM230UPBL110.520000flux density, detection
ID241UPBL11121000flux density, detection
BM291UPBL1012900flux density, detection, automation
ID30A-10UPBL10160000flux density, automation
ID30A-20UPBL100200flux density, automation
ID30A-30UPBL100200flux density, automation
ID30B0UPBL1012100flux density, detection
ID311UPBL212040flux density, automation
ID321UPBL714700flux density, resolution
    6420average improvement factor

It is important to note that these figures denote the peak performance of a beamline, achievable only by experiments well adapted, i.e. that make optimal use of its characteristics. For instance, the overall performance factor does not imply that the number of photons emitted by the source or the number of experiments carried out per year is increasing by the corresponding factor. A performance increase by a factor of 10,000 might, for instance, derive from the possibility to perform the same experiment on a 100x smaller sample, 10x faster, and with 10x higher data quality, thus implying that experiments, which are currently not feasible, will become possible after the Upgrade.

It is also noteworthy that the ESRF’s peak performance, measured over all ESRF beamlines, will increase by a factor of 3900. For the eight Upgrade Beamline projects alone, it yields a value of 6420.

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