European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), located in Grenoble - France, is a joint facility supported and shared by 22 countries, which started operation in 1994. The ESRF operates the most powerful synchrotron radiation source in Europe. Each year nine thousand researchers travel to Grenoble where they work in a first-class scientific environment to conduct exciting experiments at the cutting edge of modern science.

The ESRF is currently engaged in a major upgrade, the EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source) project, centred on the construction of a brand new storage ring - the world's first high-energy fourth-generation synchrotron light source.

Back in 2009, the ESRF embarked upon an ambitious and innovative modernisation project, the Upgrade Programme, implemented in two phases: Phase I (2009-2015) and the ESRF-EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source) (2015-2022) programmes. With an investment of 330 million euros, the Upgrade Programme is paving the way to a new generation of synchrotron storage rings, that will produce more intense, coherent and stable X-ray beams.

The first phase of the Upgrade (from 2009 to 2015) achieved the following:

  • 19 new and refurbished beamlines with capabilities unique in the world
  • Continued world leadership for X-ray beam availability, stability and brilliance
  • Major new developments in synchrotron radiation instrumentation
  • Study for a revolutionary storage ring

The second phase (2015-2022) aims to deliver:

  • The construction of a new storage ring, the world's first high-energy fourth-generation synchrotron light source
  • The construction of new state-of-the-art beamlines
  • An ambitious instrumentation programme (optics, high-performance detectors)
  • An intensified big data strategy, designed in order to exploit the enhanced brilliance, coherent flux and performances of the new X-ray synchrotron source


The ESRF operates 30 public beamlines and hosts 13 CRG beamlines, so 43 beamlines in total.


The annual budget for operating the ESRF is around 90 million Euros (not including funds dedicated to the Upgrade programme).


About 700 people work at the ESRF.

Visiting researchers:

About 9000 researchers come each year to the ESRF to carry out experiments.

Applications for beam time:

Around 2500 applications are received each year for beam time at the ESRF.

Scientific papers:

Our users and staff publish about 2000 papers annually on work carried out at the ESRF.

Storage Ring Specifications ESRF ESRF EBS
Energy 6.03 [GeV] 6 [GeV]
Max Current 200 [mA] 200 [mA]
Circumference 844.39 [m] 843.98 [m]
Lattice Architecture Double Bend Achromat (DBA)

For the parameters below :
1. Beam divergence is given for IDs. For BMs it is 83urad.
2. Bunch length/duration is 5.5mm or 18ps.
3. Beam size in insertion devices values are for low-beta insertion devices; we also have high beta insertion devices with beam size of 413um (H) x 3.8um (V).
Hybrid Multi Bend Achromat (HMBA)

For the parameters below :
1. Beam divergence is given for IDs. For BMs it is 15.7urad.
2. Bunch length/duration is 4.5mm or 15ps.
Number Of Straight Sections In Use 28 28
Average Beam Lifetime 38 [h] 20 [h]
Top-up Yes Yes
Current At Top-up 200 [mA] 200 [mA]
Beam Revolution Frequency 0.355 [MHz] 0.355 [MHz]
Emittance 3.98 [nm*rad] 0.132 [nm*rad]
Beam Divergence 108.1 [urad] 4.5 [urad]
Filling Pattern 7/8 + 1 (200mA); Uniform (200mA); 16-bunch (90mA); 4-bunch (32mA) 7/8 + 1 (200mA); Uniform (200mA); 16-bunch (90mA); 4-bunch (32mA)
Harmonic Number 992 992
Bunch Length Or Duration 5.5 [mm] 4.5 [mm]
Beam Size In Insertion Devices (hor x ver) X = 50 [um], Y = 3.9 [um] X = 31 [um], Y = 3.6 [um]
Beam Size In Bending Magnets (hor x ver) X = 103 [um], Y = 13 [um] X = 23 [um], Y = 3.6 [um]
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
71, avenue des Martyrs Grenoble
TEL. +33 (0)476882552/2358/2880
FAX. +33 (0)476882020
call for proposals


Standard and BAG proposals:

  • 1st March (for the period 16th August to 28th February) at midnight
  • 10th September (for the period 1st March to 15th August) at midnight.

Long Term Project proposals:

  • 15th January each year at midnight.

In the case where any of these dates falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the deadline will automatically move to the following Monday at midnight.

Details for the next calls for standard ESRF proposals are on the web at:

COVID-19 : Information for Users

User Programme

The ESRF is currently in full user operation with the new EBS source. Remote experiments are possible on all beamlines and experiments should be carried out remotely whever possible. In the case where onsite user presence is required, this is permitted up to a maximum of 3 onsite users per experiment. Restrictions are in place in France for travellers from certain countries, and in these cases onsite presence is not allowed. Updated information is available here.

Rapid access for COVID-19 related research

The ESRF is ready to provide rapid access to its facilities for COVID-19 related research projects, including the Cryo-EM electron-microscopy platform, the MASSIF-1 macromolecular X-ray diffraction beamline, and Partnership for Structural Biology facilities. This exceptional access will be granted with the aim to contribute to the international scientific effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. More details as well as information on how to apply can be found here.