Brillant Ring - Petra III - ein Juwel mit vielen Facetten

PETRA III, which took up operation in 2009, is the most brilliant storage-ring-based X-ray radiation source in the world. As the most powerful light source of its kind, it offers scientists outstanding experimental opportunities with X-rays of an exceptionally high brilliance. In particular, this benefits researchers investigating very small samples or those requiring tightly collimated and very short-wavelength X-rays for their experiments.

The world's best light source of its kind

The PETRA accelerator originally served for particle physics experiments, then as a pre-accelerator for the large HERA facility. After the shutdown of HERA in 2007, DESY converted the PETRA ring within only two years into the world's best storage-ring-based X-ray radiation source. To achieve this, nearly 300 metres of the 2.3-kilometre-long ring accelerator were completely rebuilt and a new experimental hall was constructed.

In its final stage, PETRA will feature 14 experimental stations with up to 30 instruments. Excellent experimental capabilities are ensured by the installation of undulators – long arrays of magnets that generate X-ray radiation of exceptionally high brilliance. In simple terms, this means that a very large number of photons are emitted from a very small area to form an extremely collimated beam of X-rays. As a result, PETRA III delivers a photon flux within an area of a single square millimetre that is as high as DORIS III produces on several square centimetres.

Facts and figures
  • Ring accelerator for electrons and positrons
  • Length: 2304 metres
  • Commissioning: 1978
  • 1978-1986: particle physics
  • 1987-2007: pre-accelerator for HERA and X-ray radiation source
  • Since 2009: most brilliant storage-ring-based X-ray source in the world
  • Start of user operation: 2009
  • 14 experimental stations with up to 30 instruments