STATUS OF THE EBS
In complement to the procurement strategy, all the detector development activities within the EBS Detector Development Plan (DDP) are progressing sustainably. The development of a very-high-photon-rate and small-pixel advanced photon-counting detector for coherent scattering applications is in the R&D phase, while the XIDER project, pursuing the development of a new very-high-dynamic-range detector optimised for high-energy diffraction, is also progressing smoothly.
The laboratory tests of the 1M SMARTPIX prototype, a photon-counting pixel device, were completed by the end of the year. The new readout will provide unprecedented low- latency processing capabilities, complemented by LIMA2, the new version of the ESRF standard data-acquisition software framework for scalable distributed multicomputer environments. LIMA2 will be also a key component in making optimum use of other high-performance detection systems, such as the PSI/EIGER1M detector installed in ID01 and the future Jungfrau 4M unit that will be the main 2D detector for the new EBSL8 beamline for serial macromolecular crystallography.
The other development lines of the EBS-DDP are also progressing. These include continuous R&D activity on high-density sensors for high-energy X-ray detection, in particular on compound semiconductor sensors, such as CdZnTe (CZT)
and thick GaAs, and new types of structured and thin-film scintillators for medium- and high-spatial-resolution applications. The DDP also includes the integration of multi-element silicon drift diodes (SDDs), optimising both the packaging fraction and the modularity of the devices to improve performance, quality and reliability of this type of energy-dispersive detector.
X-RAY OPTICS AND MECHATRONICS
The EBS source is primarily characterised by a reduction in beam size and an increased coherent flux fraction (particular at higher X-ray energies). Beamlines therefore seek to implement high-throughput optical schemes to harness the potential of the new source by delivering strongly coherent beams at the micrometre or nanometre scale. Many new optical layouts depend upon the implementation of multilayer devices in the core design. Such multilayers are typically employed as broadband monochromators as one of the first optical components in the beamline optical chain or, alternatively, as reflective coatings on focusing mirror optics (where they allow an increase of the numerical aperture of the device). To meet the specific challenges of developing a new generation of such optics, the EBS instrumentation programme has invested in a new deposition tool, the Compact Multilayer Coating System (CMCS), which will operate from 2021. The CMCS will complement the existing coating system and will be particularly adapted to producing smaller multilayer devices with improved control over the coating thickness profile and accuracy.
Concerning mechatronics projects, mechatronics solutions are being integrated in the ESRF spectroscopy DCM to control the position of the crystals thanks to interferometric sensors, a real-time control system and fast actuators. Progress has also been made on mechatronics developments for the Nano-positioning and Active Stabilisation Stage (NASS) device for the ID31 end-station, making it possible to establish the specifications of the nano-hexapod and to start its design.
DATA INFRASTRUCTURE With the EBS enabling experimental data rates to increase by an estimated factor of 10 to 100, dealing with data remains one of the major challenges of the EBS project. It is therefore crucial to ensure that adequate IT hardware infrastructure, software developments and
Fig. 5: The large- format CdTe EIGER2
detector was received in autumn 2020.