Heavy milestone in place for SoftiMAX

Heavy milestone in place for SoftiMAX


At the beamline SoftiMAX, users will have access to methods for X-ray imaging and microscopy for investigation of everything from cells and viruses to how pollutants move through an ecosystem. An important step in the construction process for the beamline was taken recently when the fourteen tonnes insertion device, an instrument holding an array of strong magnets, was installed.

All beamlines at MAX IV have a dedicated insertion device which is installed around the vacuum tube at one of the sections of the storage ring. The force from the magnets will make the close-to-light-speed electrons circulating the storage ring perform a zig-zag motion. When the electrons are made to change their path in this way, they emit the intense beam of X-rays needed for the experiments at the beamline.

Interview with Karina Thånell, project leader at SoftiMAX

The MAX IV magnet lab

Hamed Tarawneh is an insertion device expert at MAX IV (photo: Ben Libberton)

The insertion device for SoftiMAX was built in the MAX IV magnet lab. The in-house production of insertion devices at MAX IV started in November 2015. Since then, the staff at the lab have built three measurement systems for magnets, six new insertion devices refurbished two insertion devices from old MAX-lab, and supervised the installation of seven insertion devices which were built by industry and collaborators. A fourth measurement system for magnets is on its way.

We’re a small but dedicated team, says Hamed Tarawneh, insertion device expert at MAX IV.

The technical challenge when constructing insertion devices is achieving the required tolerances on the magnetic and mechanical properties. The staff at the magnet lab has successfully met the challenge, which has been demonstrated by the high quality of light at the commissioned beamlines so far.

The magnet lab is also a tool for future research and development, says Tarawneh.

How does an insertion device work?

When the magnets of the insertion devices are brought closer together, the magnetic field gets stronger and the electrons in the vacuum tube starts to perform a zig-zag motion. This makes them send out light.