SPring-8, the large synchrotron radiation facility

Skip to content
Personal tools

British and Japanese science facilities sign up to future collaboration (Special Topic)

Release Date
28 Apr, 2006
  • Collaborative Research
Scientific links between Diamond Light Source Ltd, the UK's next generation synchrotron facility, the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and the RIKEN Harima Institute will be strengthened today when these three partners sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on collaborative research.

May 28, 2006

     Scientific links between Diamond Light Source Ltd, the UK's next generation synchrotron facility, the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and the RIKEN Harima Institute will be strengthened today when these three partners sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on collaborative research.

     The signing will be undertaken by Professor Gerhard Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source Ltd, Dr Akira Kira, Director General of JASRI and Dr Hiroyoshi Suematsu, Director RIKEN Harima Institute.

     Professor Materlik comments, "synchrotron science has developed rapidly in the last 20 years thanks to a very open, collaborative spirit among the community.  As Diamond approaches its launch early 2007, it is a very positive move for us to be able to sign this MoU with JASRI and RIKEN.  It will enable us to combine expertise to accomplish significant scientific goals, develop common specialized knowledge and effective use of facilities and increase cooperation and mutual support between the three organisations.  The aim for all three institutes is to give the best integrated service to users in our own countries and the international community of scientists."

     Dr Akira Kira, Director General of JASRI, comments, “SPring-8 is the world’s largest synchrotron light facility and has been operating since 1997.  We are delighted to be able to share our knowledge with Diamond, one of the newest synchrotrons in the world. By strengthening the international collaboration with the highly skilled team that Professor Materlik is gathering together at Diamond in the UK, we aim to build on the achievements of the past 20 years, which the UK has seen at the forefront of SR developments and genome science.

     Dr Hiroyoshi Suematsu, Director RIKEN Harima Institute, adds, "This MoU should lead to collaborations that result in effective use of our facilities and research.  We will also be developing strategic links for life science and materials science, where many enhancing discoveries are waiting to be made."

Notes for editors:

Diamond Light Source
     Diamond Light Source is a new synchrotron facility, under construction in South Oxfordshire (UK), and scheduled to open in early 2007.  When Diamond begins operations, it will have 7 experimental stations/beamlines and this will be expanded to 22 beamlines by 2011.

     This 21st century machine can be described as a series of 'super microscopes', which will be housed in a 235m diameter doughnut-shaped building. Eventually Diamond could provide as many as 40 different scientific experimental stations. A key goal of Diamond is to become a leading UK research base with a unique culture that cross-fertilises ideas from different fields of science.

     Diamond will produce ultra-violet and X-ray beams of unprecedented quality & brightness, in the region of 100 billion times brighter than hospital X-ray machines. These will enable scientists & engineers to look deep into the basic structure of matter, materials, and biological samples. With such techniques, researchers will conduct highly advanced experiments leading to scientific breakthroughs in the fields of biotechnology, medicine, environment & materials research. Researchers, primarily from academia but also industry, are expected to come from across Europe to use the facility.  As part of the service, dedicated Diamond researchers will be available to assist devise and conduct experiments.

     The synchrotron is operated by Diamond Light Source Limited. This new company is a successful joint venture between two shareholders. Government through the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) own 86% of shares, whilst The Wellcome Trust, one of the world's leading biomedical research charities and the UK's largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research, own 14%.

Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute & RIKEN Harima Institute
     SPring-8, the world's most powerful synchrotron radiation facility constructed in Japan, has been stably operated and jointly managed by Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and RIKEN Harima Institute. The 8 GeV storage ring with a circumference of 1436 m has 62 beamports and provides synchrotron radiation ranging from hard X-ray region (300 keV) to VUV (300 eV) with the world-highest brilliance. With 48 beamlines now operational, the numbers of users and accepted proposals per year amount to about ten thousands and 15 hundreds, respectively.

     Synchrotron radiation available at SPring-8 has been applied to advanced fields of science including industrial applications as follows:

• Life Science: Atomic structure analysis of protein macromolecules and elucidation of biological functions; Mechanism of time-dependent biological reactions; Dynamics of muscle fibers
• Materials Science: Precise electron distribution in novel inorganic crystals; Structural phase transition at high pressure / high or low temperature; Atomic and electronic structure of advanced materials of high Tc superconductors, highly correlated electron systems and magnetic substances; Local atomic structure of amorphous solids, liquids and melts
• Chemical Science: Dynamic behaviors of catalytic reactions; X-ray photochemical process at surface; Atomic and molecular spectroscopy; Analysis of ultra-trace elements and their chemical states; Archeological studies
• Earth and Planetary Science: In situ X-ray observation of phase transformation of earth materials at high pressure and high temperature; Mechanism of earthquakes; Structure of meteorites and interplanetary dusts
• Environmental Science: Analysis of toxic heavy atoms contained in bio-materials; Development of novel catalysts for purifying pollutants in exhaust gases; Development of high quality batteries and hydrogen storage alloys
• Industrial Application: Characterization of microelectronic devices and nanometer-scale quantum devices; Analysis of chemical composition and chemical state of trace elements; X-ray imaging of materials; Residual stress analysis of industrial products; Pharmaceutical drug design
• Medical Application: Application of high spatial resolution imaging techniques to medical diagnosis of cancers and capillaries

For further information, please contact:

At Diamond: Silvana Damerell
 Phone: +44 1235 778238
 Email: silvana.damerell@diamond.ac.uk
 Website:  www.diamond.ac.uk

 Public Relations Office: kouhou@spring8.or.jp
 Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI)
 1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun, Hyogo, 679-5198 Japan
 Tel: +81-(0)791-58-2785/Fax: +81 (0)791-58-2786
 Website:  www.spring8.or.jp

At RIKEN Harima Institute
 Harima Research Promotion Division
 1-1-1, Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun, Hyogo, 679-5148 Japan
 Tel: +81-(0)791-58-0900/Fax: +81 (0)791-58-0800
 Website:  www.harima.riken.jp