European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

The ESRF is an X-ray light source for Europe. It is located in Grenoble, France, and supported and shared by 20 countries.

The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is the most powerful synchrotron radiation source in Europe. Each year several thousand researchers travel to Grenoble, where they work in a first-class scientific environment to conduct exciting experiments at the cutting edge of modern science.

A synchrotron is a stadium-sized machine that produces many beams of bright X-ray light. Each beam is guided through a set of lenses and instruments called a beamline, where the X-rays illuminate and interact with samples of material being studied. Many countries operate synchrotrons—there are 10 in Europe—but only four worldwide are similar in design and power to the ESRF.

At more than 40 specialised experimental stations on our beamlines, physicists work side by side with chemists and materials scientists. Biologists, medical doctors, meteorologists, geophysicists and archaeologists have become regular users. Companies also send researchers, notably in the fields of pharmaceuticals, consumer products, petrochemicals and microelectronics.

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What’s new

  • Jocelynchavy aerial esrf lr

    Four new beamlines get go ahead at the ESRF, opening new frontiers in X-ray science

    News | 28 Jun 2017

    Four new beamlines are to be built at the ESRF (The European Synchrotron, Grenoble, France), the world-leading synchrotron X-ray source, ensuring that Europe continues to lead the world in X-ray science. This major project will provide researchers with new tools to gain unprecedented understanding of the complex structure of materials and living matter.

  • Hmba lattice

    Dr Pantaleo Raimondi wins 2017 Gersh Budker prize

    News | 28 Mar 2017

    The European Physical Society Accelerator Group (EPS-AG) has awarded the ESRF’s Accelerator & Source Director, Dr. Pantaleo Raimondi, the 2017 Gersh Budker Prize, for his outstanding contribution to the accelerator field in the form of his “invention of the Hybrid Multi Bend Achromat (HMBA) lattice”,

  • The EIB finances the European synchrotron in Grenoble for 65M€

    News | 11 Dec 2015

    With innovation as a main priority in its support of programmes of excellence in fundamental and applied research, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has decided to support the project ESRF- Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF-EBS) to the level of 65 million euros.

  • Magma

    Remnants of an ancient magma ocean in the deep Earth revealed

    News | 4 Nov 2015

    Scientists have revealed that silicate magmas, mainly composed of MgSiO3 are denser than the rocks of the lowermost mantle.

  • Esrf 450x252

    X-ray vision deciphers archaeological mystery

    News | 30 Oct 2015

    Synchrotron light has pierced the mysteries of a small 17th Century metallic box thanks to X-ray imaging techniques developed at the ESRF. Scientists were able to virtually reconstitute, in 3D and with astounding resolution, the inaccessible contents of the very fragile and badly damaged box.

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