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European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

The ESRF is the world’s most intense X-ray source and a centre of excellence for fundamental and innovation-driven research in materials science. Located in Grenoble, France, the ESRF owes its success to the international cooperation of 22 partner nations.

Over 40 X-ray “beamlines” at the ESRF, using synchrotron X-rays over 100 billion times brighter than the X-rays used in hospitals, allow advanced analysis and characterisation of materials, going far beyond those possible using traditional laboratory techniques. Access is provided by a proposal and peer-reviewed system with publication of results, or through commercial, rapid paid-for access. The ESRF is also an active partner in Horizon2020 and Horizon Europe Framework Programme projects.

Industry exploits the ESRF in a wide array of sectors, from consumer products to engineering, from pharma to advanced materials, from food to energy. Every sector relying on material performance can benefit from synchrotron X-rays.

Every year 9,000 scientists from around the world come to Grenoble, to the ESRF’s “beamlines”, each equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


  • NON DESTRUCTIVE probing of material structure 
  • HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION from millimetres to nanometres and even to atomic resolution 
  • FAST to follow processes in real time 
  • HIGH THROUGHPUT enabling routine data collection from thousands of samples 
  • OPERANDO for working in situ under real manufacturing and operating conditions (extreme temperatures, pressure, mechanical stress, chemical environments, etc.) 
  • WIDE RANGE OF SAMPLE ENVIRONMENTS furnaces, cryostats, diamond anvil cells, large volume press, on-line mixing, microfluidics, gas atmospheres… 
  • SPECIALISED SUPPORT LABS for off-line characterisation, sample preparation, metrology, precision engineering and others


  • FREE OF CHARGE ACCESS - Available through the ESRF peer review programme, results have to be published. Applications from industry alone or with academia are welcome. In addition, Innovation-Led Long Term Proposals (3 years) open the way to working with business and academia to further develop synchrotron techniques for industrial applications. 
  • TAILORED PARTNERSHIPS - Longer term, deeper research programmes with industry, including training and sponsored PhD studentships, and implication in Horizon2020 grant proposals. 
  • ROUTINE PROPRIETARY ACCESS - Rapid, paid for and confidential. 

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

71, avenue des Martyrs, CS 40220
38043 Grenoble Cedex 9
 +33 (0) 476-884 090

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