China upgrades Shanghai synchrotron light source facility

An aerial view of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. /CMG

An aerial view of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. /CMG

The upgraded Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF), a key sci-tech infrastructure in east China that aims to reveal the mysteries of the microscopic world, passed national inspection and acceptance on Wednesday. 

Started in November 2016, the SSRF upgrades were completed in July 2023. They include the construction of 16 state-of-the-art beamlines and experimental stations, auxiliary laboratories, user data centers, support systems and associated facilities, as well as an accelerator performance upgrade, said Tai Renzhong, vice president of the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

An aerial view of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. /CMG

An aerial view of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. /CMG

An internal view of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. /CMG

An internal view of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility in east China’s Shanghai Municipality. /CMG

The SSRF, which resembles a nautilus when viewed from above, officially opened on May 6, 2009 as the first third-generation synchrotron light source on the Chinese mainland.

The brightness of the light emitted by the facility is a trillion times higher than that of ordinary X-rays. At the experimental stations of the light source, various samples are illuminated by the synchrotron light, while scientific instruments record information of light-matter interactions. This enables scientists to gain insights into the microscopic world, such as the structure of viruses, and the microscopic architecture and properties of materials. 

(With input from Xinhua)