We operate two light sources, the third-generation electron storage ring Elettra and the fourth-generation, free-electron laser (FEL) FERMI, together with a number of support laboratories.  Our beamlines supply radiation to more than 30 experimental stations, enabling an international community of researchers from academy and industry to characterize material properties and functions with sensitivity down to molecular and atomic levels, pattern and nanofabricate new structures and devices, and develop new processes. Ever year scientists and engineers from more than 50 different countries access our facilities by submitting beamtime proposals for that are peer-reviewed by international panels of experts on the basis of scientific merit and potential impact.

Lightsources and Laboratories


The third generation Italian synchrotron radiation facility Elettra has been serving the national and international scientific and industrial community since 1993. Located in the North-Eastern region of Italy, on the hills overlooking Trieste, it attracts researchers from all over the world. More than 1200 scientists and engineers from Europe, Asia and America utilize every year the Elettra facility. Electrons circulating in the Elettra storage ring at nearly the speed of light provide ultra-bright radiation from the infrared to hard x-rays range when passing through different magnetic devices such as undulators, wigglers and bending magnets. The photon beams, collected by in-vacuum optical systems, propagate through beamlines and reach the experimental stations where an array of different analytical and processing techniques are available. This radiation, ten billion times brighter than that supplied by conventional sources, enables a broad spectrum of users in physics, chemistry, biology, life sciences, environmental science, medicine, forensic science, and cultural heritage from academic institutions and industry to gain access to advanced research capabilities and techniques and conduct state-of-the-art experiments. Laboratories offering complementary techniques to those available at the beamlines are also present, expanding in this way their capabilities to satisfy the users needs. The support laboratories represent also a unique opportunity for training activities of young researchers and students.


FERMI is a new FEL facility next to the third-generation synchrotron radiation facility Elettra. It uses a linear accelerator to generate a beam of relativistic electrons that is made to propagate through a long series of undulators. A conventional laser superposed to the electron beam in the first undulator (seeding) is utilized to induce coherent emission, which is exponentially amplified when the electrons propagate through the following undulator magnetic field. As one of the only five FEL sources currently operating in the ultraviolet and soft x-ray  range worldwide, FERMI was developed to provide ultrashort (10-100 femtosecond long) pulses with a peak brightness ten billion times higher than that made available by third generation light sources. Among the existing FEL sources FERMI is unique in many respects. The implemented seeded-FEL scheme guarantees unparallaled stability in intensity and spectral width, together with high transverse and  longitudinal coherence. The use of APPLE II-type undulators allows for full control of polarization throughout the 100 nm to 4 nm (in the first harmonic) operating range. The combination of longitudinal and transverse coherence with variable polarization in the entire photon energy range open unique opportunities for exploring the structure and transient states of condensed, soft and low-density matter using a variety of diffraction, scattering and spectroscopy techniques.

Synchrotron Light sources

Here you will find a list of the world's synchrotron light source facilities.

Free Electron Lasers

Here you will find a list of the world's free electron laser light source facilities.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 13:15