News Date

Left to right: Ewa Rondio, Maciej Chorowski, Krzysztof Kurek, Helmut Dosch, Zbigniew Gołębiewski (photo NCBJ)

Agreement on prolongation of NCBJ-DESY (Deut­sches Elek­tronen Syn­ch­ro­tron) cooperation was recently signed in Hamburg by Dr. Krzysz­tof Ku­rek, NCBJ Director General. Polish delegation led by Prof. Ma­ciej Cho­row­ski, Director of National Centre for Research & Development (who represented also during that visit Polish Mi­ni­stry of Science and Higher Education) witnessed also the delivery of a next batch of elements manufactured in Poland as “in-kind” contribution to development of European Free Electron Laser (XFEL).

The agreement is a framework for mutual exchange of know-how gained at development of the Eu­ro­pe­an XFEL large scale research facility and its components. The project is run by Eu­ro­pe­an XFEL GmbH, a German law non-profit company owned in 50% by Germany represented by DESY. The remaining 50% of shares is owned by 10 other European countries, including Poland represented by NCBJ. XFEL project budget has been estimated for € 1,225.9 million. The facility is to put Eu­rope at the leading position among users of very in­ten­se sources of X-ray radiation. XFEL and CERN are the two largest scientific projects to which Poland is currently participating. Polish contribution “in-kind” has been developed mainly by scientists/engineers working in Cracow, Wrocław, and Warszawa/Świerk.

The first elements delivered back in 2012 developed by Wro­cław University of Technology, Wro­cław­ Technology Park, and the Krio­sys­tem S.A. Wrocław-based company included a cryogenic line for transporting liquid helium in the supercritical state and two cryostats for te­sting nio­bium superconducting reso­na­to­rs (some key com­po­nents of XFEL electron ac­ce­le­ra­to­r). Value of the deliveries amounted to about € 2.1 million (2005 prices).

In­stitute of Nuclear Physics PAN in Cracow (IFJ) has performed tests of 816 superconducting 1.3 GHz reso­na­to­rs plus 100 cryo-modules (value of the works: € 11.7 million), and tests of 100 superconducting beam focussing/control magnets with current conductor subassemblies (€ 1.1 million). During the visit IFJ representatives ­in­for­med Prof. Chorowski that all works to be done in IFJ for the XFEL project have been completed.

NCBJ (formerly IPJ Świerk) designed, constructed, tested and delivered to DESY 1,648 superconducting couplers of the higher (parasitic) modes in the XFEL elec­tro­n ac­ce­le­ra­to­r, 824 HF dia­gno­stic antennas with external li­nes, and 108 ab­sor­be­rs for pro­pa­gating higher modes. Total value of the deliveries amounted to about € 3.5 million. According to the just signed agreement NCBJ is to deliver 200 electronic mo­dules to be used to control optical lines and equipment installed in research bays; the modules will be housed in 100 cassettes. Total values of these deliveries (to be completed before spring 2017) amounts to € 741 thousand

Combined value of the Polish contribution amounts to € 26,535,060 including € 19,131,857 (2005 prices) “in-kind” and € 7,404,203 financial contribution.

“Among all eleven Eu­ro­pe­an XFEL GmbH shareholders Poland is the most advanced in fulfilling their obligations, 96% (by value) of the scheduled deliveries have already been accomplished” – proudly commented Prof. Cho­row­ski – „Judging after some subsequent recently placed orders our partners have appreciated our so far made contribution. Fulfilling the orders we are acquiring new unique competences and improving our competitive edge on the high technology markets”.

Dr. Kurek added: „However, the most important aspect is that already in near future our involvement will make us a co-owner of some unique large research infrastructure, therefore a co-owner of all future discoveries and other results of experiments”.

Eu­ro­pe­an X-ray free elec­tron la­ser will be among the largest research facilities in the world. Its electron accelerator has been deployed in a 5.8 km long tunnel routed north-west from the DESY Hamburg site. Equipment responsible for generation of coherent beams of X-ray radiation have been deployed near the end of the tunnel. Research equipment will be deployed in a hall erected at the end of the tunnel. Construction of the laser is to be finished before the end of 2016, the first delivery of the beam to the users is scheduled for mid-2017. The laser will generate 27,000 ultra-short flashes of X-rays per second. Intensity of each flash will be billion times higher than in­ten­sity of beams emitted by the most bright con­ventional sources of X-rays. It is expected that XFEL will enable scientists to image in detail structure of viruses (which should help to develop new medicines), to understand many of the molecular me­cha­nisms that govern functioning of living cells, to register 3D images of various nano-objects, to film courses of chemical reactions (e.g. the processes of for­ming/breaking che­mical bonds), to investigate pro­ce­sses running inside pla­nets and stars, and to study numerous other topics from the na­no-world. The laser should also significantly help to mo­dify existing ma­te­rials and to develop new ones.

Na zdjęciu, tuż po podpisaniu umowy dotyczącej kontynuacji współpracy, od lewej Ewa Rondio, Maciej Chorowski, Krzysztof Kurek, Helmut Dosch i Zbigniew Gołębiewski, fot NCBJ.
Deut­sches Elek­tronen Syn­ch­ro­tron (DESY) w Ham­bur­gu
Eu­ro­pe­an XFEL (X-ray Free Elek­tron La­ser) – eu­ro­pej­ski la­ser na swo­bod­nych elek­tro­nach