Accelerator development

HZB researches with and for new materials in energy-related systems. In order to capture their dynamics at higher temporal resolution, we are planning to upgrade BESSY II into BESSY VSR. With the project bERLinPro, we are pursuing the goal of developing a novel accelerator technology – along the path to BESSY III.

Along the path to BESSY III

Along the path to BESSY III (Graphic: HZB)

New flexibility: upgrading to a variable pulse-length storage ring

The HZB will be enhancing BESSY II to become a variable pulse-length storage ring (BESSY VSR). The light source will become even more attractive for energy materials research through this upgrade. BESSY II thus far has offered light pulses as short as 17 picoseconds (1 picosecond corresponds to one billionth of a millisecond). That is still too long for investigating several kinds of problems. For that reason, researchers at every individual beamline and for every experiment will be able to choose between longer (15 picoseconds) and shorter (1.5 picoseconds) light pulses – and do so without any loss of light intensity. BESSY VSR will thereby fill the gap between existing storage rings and  free-electron lasers.

BESSY VSR will make new kinds of experiments on energy materials feasible. Researchers will then be able to observe how the electronic structure of a catalyst changes during a chemical reaction. In addition, it will be possible to investigate quantum effects and analyse fast switching processes in new kinds of materials for future information technologies. The fundamental principle of BESSY VSR sounds simple, but the implementation is very challenging. Experts at the HZB are collaborating with accelerator centres all over the world to realise this design.

bERLinPro magnets

These magnet devices are used for testing bERLinPro. Photo: Michael Setztpfandt

Linear accelerator with energy recovery and the path to BESSY III

bERLinPro is an advanced project in which HZB experts are testing out a new design for an accelerator that recovers much of the energy it expends. To achieve this, they are developing novel superconducting RF cavity resonators for example, in order to control the energy and the configuration of the electron bunches. These cavity resonators are dual-mission, because they are also required for upgrading to BESSY VSR. With bERLinPro, we systematically gain experience in the development of accelerator components for photon sources. This experience will be needed to develop and test new ideas for the successor, BESSY III.