Large scale facilities

The Mamaself consortium is strongly connected to Large Scale Facilities, giving the students the opportunity to work with and at Large Scale Faclities during the Master course, and that way acquire specific competencies.
Visuel Synchrotron + 3 axes

Why Large Scale Facilities?

Synchrotron radiation beamlines are high-performance instruments that allow to obtain multi-scale and multi-task researches on materials of industrial as well as fundamental interest. Given their strategic importance, each UE governemnts commit an overall budget of more than 100 Million euros for each national synchrotron source. The industrial demand in the field is quite extended, ranging from pharmaceutics to biotechnologies, from chemistry (petrochemistry) to materials (metals, alloys, plastics, polymers, ceramics, glasses...), from microelectronics to aeronautics, from environment to energy-sources.

Mamaself partners at Large Scale Facilities

The consortium disposes on a variety of research projects in relation to “Large Scale Facilities” as well as industry partnerships on a European level.
Mamaself students can spend their Master thesis semester (SEM 4) at one of these Large Scale Facilities. Visits for the students at some of these institutions will be organised regularly (Synchrotron Soleil in Paris, ESRF in Grenoble, FRMII in Munich, Alba synchrotron in Spain...)     

The researchers and experts from these LSF come and join the Mamaself events and summer school and give lectures and conferences. These LSF institutions also provide PhD offers for Mamaself students.

PSI Villigen, Switzerland

Paul Scherrer Institute Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, Mamaself partner institution

The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is the largest research center for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. PSI is located in the Zurich area and part of the ETH domain, directly connected to the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, ETH Zürich and EPFL Lausanne, as well as the Federal Laboratory for Material Science and Technology EMPA. PSI employs 2200 people with an annual budget of approximately CHF 400 million and is primarily financed by the Swiss Confederation. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are apprentices, post-graduates or post-docs. PSI operates several large scale facilities such as the neutron spallation source SINQ, the synchrotron SLS, the free electron laser SwissFEL, the world’s most intense muon source as well as an ultra cold neutron source for basic research in physics, chemistry, biology and materials research. Every year, more than 2500 scientists from Switzerland and around the world come to PSI to use our unique facilities to carry out experiments that are not possible anywhere else. PSI is a long-term associated partner of the MaMaSelf program. Numerous MaMaSELF students did an internship or their master-thesis and some of them went on to obtain their PhD or work as a scientist at PSI.

ESRF Grenoble, France


The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), located in Grenoble France, is one of the most intense source of synchrotron generated X-rays light, worldwide competing with other 3rd generation synchrotron sources in the US (APS) and Japan (Spring-8). Funded by 13 member states and 8 scientific associates, ESRF allow about 6500 scientific visitors per year to access 43 beamlines, specialized in one of the following domains: hard condensed matter science, applied material science, engineering, chemistry, soft condensed matter science, life sciences, structural biology, medicine, earth and science, environment, cultural heritage, methods and instrumentation.
For materials science investigations, techniques of preference such as diffraction, spectroscopy or imaging reach extremely high resolution and performance due to the very high brilliance and low convergence of synchrotron light beam. This allows highly micro-focused analyses or ultra-fast time-resolved experiments down to a resolution of a few picoseconds.

Synchrotron Soleil, France

The synchrotron light source SOLEIL is a national French 3rd generation synchrotron operated in Saclay by CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives). SOLEIL was set in replacement of the older French synchrotron light-source LURE (Orsay) and delivered its first photons in 2008. SOLEIL offers to researchers 32 beamlines covering a wide range of spectroscopic methods from infrared to X-rays, and structural methods in X-ray diffraction and diffusion. Main research domains are physics, chemistry, material sciences, life sciences (notably in the crystallography of biological macromolecules), earth sciences, and atmospheric sciences.
High-technology facility, SOLEIL is a very brilliant electromagnetic radiation source. It is a cutting edge pluridisciplinary research laboratory, a service platform open to all scientific and industrial communities, Synschrotron Soleil is welcoming Mamaself students in internships, Master thesis and PhD since many years. Syncchrotron Soleil is now Mamaself associated partners in the new Mamaself2 program.

FRM II Munich, Germany

FRMII Munich

The research neutron source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) is a central scientific institute of the Technische Universität München (TUM) housed on the premises of the Research Centre in Garching. The FRM II came into user operation in 2005 and provides neutrons for science, industry and medicine.  
The source is placed at the disposal of industry for about 30 % of the usable beam time. This includes both industry-related research, funded by the public purse and contract research, funded by industry e.g. the doping of silicon for the semiconductor industry, the production of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industry, elemental analysis and tumor therapy.
The core aim of the reactor operation is to provide a high neutron flux. It is not used to generate electricity. With 20 megawatts of thermal power, the FRM II produces only about 0.6 % of the thermal power produced by a conventional nuclear power plant to generate electricity. It has the world's best thermal ratio of performance to neutron flux and is thus one of the most effective and modern neutron sources in the world.

ILL Grenoble, France


The Institut Laue-Langevin is an international research centre at the leading edge of neutron science and technology.As the world’s flagship centre for neutron science, the ILL provides scientists with a very high flux of neutrons feeding some 40 state-of-the-art instruments, which are constantly being developed and upgraded.
As a service institute the ILL makes its facilities and expertise available to visiting scientists. Every year, some 1400 researchers from over 40 countries visit the ILL. More than 800 experiments selected by a scientific review committee are performed annually. Research focuses primarily on fundamental science in a variety of fields: condensed matter physics, chemistry, biology, nuclear physics and materials science, etc.
Whilst some are working on engine designs, fuels, plastics and household products, others are looking at biological processes at cellular and molecular level.  Still others may be elucidating the physics that could contribute to the electronic devices of the future. ILL can specially tailor its neutron beams to probe the fundamental processes that help to explain how our universe came into being, why it looks the way it does today and how it can sustain life.
The ILL also collaborates closely and at different levels of confidentiality with the R&D departments of industrial enterprises.
All the scientists at the ILL - chemists, physicists, biologists, crystallographers, specialists in magnetism and nuclear physics - are also experts in neutron research and technology and their combined know-how is made available to the scientific community.
The ILL delivers intense neutron beams to 40 scientific instruments covering many research domains in materials science.  Some 800 experiments are conducted each year by  about 1400 researchers in solid-state physics, chemistry, crystallography, geology, soft matter or biology.


© Elettra

Elettra - Sincrotrone Trieste (in Italy) is a multidisciplinary international research center, part of the Area Science Park, a National Research Laboratoy aimed at conjugating excellence in Scientific Research with technology know-how tranfer.
Elettra is specialized in generating high quality synchrotron and free-electron laser electromagnetic radiation and applying it in materials science. It produce light ranging from ultraviolet to X-rays. The spectral brightness available on most beamlines is up to 1019 photons/s/mm2/mrad2/0.1%bw and the peak brightness of the FEL sources is expected to go up to 1030 photons/s/mm2/mrad2/0.1%bw.
Elettra can offer to researchers 28 beamlines covering a wide range of spectroscopies in different areas of scientifica research: from chemistry to physics, from hard-material sciences to soft matter and biology.
Several experimental techniques are used in these beamlines : Photoelectron Emission, Imaging, Scattering and Diffraction, Absorption/Emission/Reflection, Litography.
Due to its strategic geographical position Elettra attracts a lot of scientific researchers from Center and East Europeas a part of the primary network for science and technology of the Central Europe Initiative (CEI).


Alba synchrotron


ALBA is a 3rd generation synchrotron light facility located near Barcelona in Spain, which delivered its first photons to beamlines in 2012. ALBA currently operates ten soft and hard X-rays beamlines, mainly devoted to biosciences, condensed matter, and materials science. Four additional beamlines will be available in 2023. About 6000 hours of allocated beamtime serve more than 2000 researchers every year (among which ~35% from out of Spain). The beamlines cover a wide range of characterization techniques such as Infra-Red, X-ray absorption, photo-emission and dichroism spectroscopies, powder diffraction and macromolecular crystallography, tomography, and metrology.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a U.S. multiprogram science and technology national laboratory sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and administered, managed, and operated by UT–Battelle as a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) under a contract with the DOE, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Its scientific programs focus on materials, nuclear science, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security, sometimes in partnership with the state of Tennessee, universities and other industries.
ORNL has several of the world's top supercomputers, including Frontier, ranked by the TOP500 as the world's most powerful. The lab is a leading neutron and nuclear power research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source, the High Flux Isotope Reactor, and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has joined the Master Mamaself as associated partner institution in 2022.

EU-XFEL, Germany

The European X-ray Free electron Laser (EU-XFEL), is an x-ray source that produces extremely intense and short pulses that allows to investigate dynamics and electronic structure of matter at ultra-short time scales. The EU-XFEL is a 3.4 kilometer-long underground facility located close to Hamburg, Germany. It has been, constructed and is operated by 12 EU countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The brilliance of XFEL is billion times higher than conventional lab-sources and combined to the time resolution it allows to map atomic details, follow chemical reactions and study processes occuring at phase transformation of materials. To generate the x-ray pulses, bunches of electrons are accelerated to high energy and then go through undulators (special arrangements of magnets) in which the modulated trajectory of electrons allows for self amplified synchrotron emission, leading to extremly intense x-ray flashes. Heigth experimental end-stations (3 can operate simultaneously) cover: High Energy Density Science, Materials Imaging and Dynamics, Femtosecond X-ray Experiments, Single Particles, Clusters & Biomolecules, Serial Femtosecond Crystallography, Soft X-ray,  Small Quantum Systems, and Spectroscopy & Coherent Scattering.

DESY, Hamburg, Germany


Solaris synchrotron


Solaris is the only synchrotron in Central-Eastern Europe. Built in Poland in 2015, it is located in the southern part of Krakow. It is the central facility of the National Center of Synchrotron Radiation SOLARIS.
The SOLARIS synchrotron began operation with two beamlines (PEEM/XAS with two end-stations, and UARPES with one end-station). Ultimately, the experimental hall of the Kraków accelerator will house dozens of them.


The NSF’s ChemMatCARS – University of Chicago – operates three experimental stations in the areas of advanced small-molecule crystallography, liquid surface and interface scattering, and small to wide-angle scattering at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), at Argone National Labs near Chicago, USA, one of the world leading synchrotron sources in the wolrd. ChemMatCars is funded by the Divisions of Chemistry (CHE) and Materials Research (DMR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The wide energy range (7-70keV) combined with bending magnet and undulator beamlines allows advanced experiments in:
•    Crystallography techniques on inorganic and small molecule crystals (resonance diffraction, photo-crystallography, high-resolution charge density studies, high-pressure studies, microcrystallography),
•    Surface scattering to probe molecular and mesoscale structure at liquid-vapor and liquid-liquid interfaces,
•    Anomalous small angle x-ray scattering (ASAXS) to focuse on element specific structural study of soft matter systems such as polyelectrolytes, colloids, polymers, macro-ions in solutions, and nanomaterials at the length scales from a few nanometers to hundreds of nanometers.