Using these X-rays, the ESRF functions like a “super-microscope”, which "films" the position and motion of atoms in condensed and living matter, and reveals the structure of matter in all its complexity, with:

  • HIGH INTENSITY X-RAYS, allowing the study of very small samples, focusing on a small area, fast phenomena or high-throughput
  • 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 with less than a microsecond time resolution
  • IN SITU ANALYSIS 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...

The ESRF offers industry privileged and practical access to its 44 highly specialised experimental stations, called “beamlines", in a completely confidential manner (through the Non-Disclosure Agreement). Each beamline is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, which support a wide range of experimental techniques. More about our techniques.

As a result of its properties, synchrotron radiation is used increasingly as a response to industrial challenges related to the life cycle of materials: development, manufacturing, operation, ageing, wear-and-tear, preservation, restoration, recycling, evaluation, and more. Observing, characterising and understanding the structure of matter are at the heart of these challenges for industry. Our applications cover many fields, including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, chemistry and catalysis, cosmetics, food products, construction and transport engineering, nanotechnologies, semi-conductors, energy, environment, metallurgy, and advanced materials.

Welcoming thousands of scientists from around the world, the ESRF is an international centre of excellence for fundamental and innovation-driven research in condensed and living matter science. The ESRF plays a key role in stimulating innovation and enhancing competitiveness and it is accessible for companies of all sizes from all sectors of industry. 30% of the ESRF’s public research involves industrial participation and over 150 clients ranging from start-ups to major brands have used the ESRF’s facilities for confidential research over the last 5 years.

The ESRF is also involved in many European projects and has developed many partnerships in order to push research and innovation forward. More about our partnerships and European projects.