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Posted: April 21, 2009

RUSNANO participates in construction and operation of the world's most powerful x-ray free electron laser

(Nanowerk News) The XFEL Project (X-Ray Free Electron Laser) will become the unique technological complex for cutting-edge scientific research in such top-priority spheres of the innovative economy development as nanotechnologies. The device will exceed significantly in its technical capabilities the similar lasers under construction in the USA and Japan.
The underground X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) with the length of 3.4 km will be constructed in the largest in Germany synchrotron center DESY (Hamburg City). Russia will become the second country (after Germany) in the scope of investments into the international project, which will allow Russian scientists to carry out sophisticated research in the sphere of physics, chemistry, material science, life sciences, bio-medicine etc.
In order to launch the project and provide fulfilling the Russian Federation’s obligations, the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies was appointed as a participating organization from Russia. Within the period of 2009 to 2016 RUSNANO will transfer 250 million Euros on behalf of the Russian Federation to the managing company.
Development of the project on XFEL construction in Europe was commenced in early 1990th. The idea behind the project was originated by Russian scientists from Novosibirsk Institute of Nuclear Physics. The mode of laser X-ray emission generation laying in the base of XFEL was proposed by them more than 30 years ago. Today, 14 countries such as Germany, Russia, the Great Britain, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Italy, Spain, PRC, Poland, Slovakia, France, Sweden and Switzerland take part in the project under the intergovernmental agreements.
The total cost of the plant construction is more than 1 billion Euros. The managing company to be established at the territory of Germany is in charge of the plant construction, commissioning and further operation. The Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies will act as its participant from Russia and be responsible for providing the control of the most significant issues of the corporate management (appointment of directors, fund allocation, use of laser beam time etc.). In addition to it, the project participants determined the criteria for scientific use of the laser as well as principles of intellectual property protection and regulation. The main resource of the device — beam time — will be used taking into account the amount of contribution made by each country into the laser creation.
Super-bright ultra-short X-ray pulses with the properties similar to the laser light obtained within XFEL project framework will allow for stage-wise “viewing” the molecular and atomic processes in the materials and bio-molecules. XFEL operation provides unprecedented possibilities for studying the chemical and physical processes in molecules as well as creating new materials and nanostructures. The RRC “Kurchatov Institute” is in charge of scientific supervision of the project implementation as well as formation of the scientific and research program on using XFEL on behalf of the Russian Federation.
According to the Managing Director, Member of RUSNANO Board of Directors, Dionis Gordin, “the Russian scientists and engineers will get access to the research tool, the analogues of which exist neither in Russia nor in the world. Besides, the Russian scientific and equipment producers will be actively involved into providing the plant with gear”.
Russia became the project participant under the initiative proposed by the Director of RRC “Kurchatov Institute”, Member of RUSNANO Supervisory Council, Mikhail Koval’chuk and the Deputy Director of Siberian INP attached to RAS, Gennady Kulipanov and supported by the Minister of Education and Science of the RF, Andrey Fursenko. Due to their participation in the project, the Russian scientists will be able to make the unique experiments with the atomic spatial and femtosecond time resolution providing the possibility for atomic and molecular design of new bio-materials.
Source: Rusnano