Opening of the Helmholtz SESAME Beamline HESEB

On 12 June. 2022, the Helmholtz SESAME Beamline (HESEB) was inaugurated at the synchrotron radiation source SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Application in the Middle East) in Jordan. The HESEB beamline will generate soft X-rays that will enable research on a wide range of scientific questions, especially in solid-state, interfacial and surface physics. The element-specific interactions of soft X-rays with matter allow analytical investigations with high precision for many elements of the periodic table.

Eröffnung der Helmholtz-SESAME-Beamline HESEB
The synchrotron radiation source SESAME was opened in 2017. Image: SESAME

HESEB extends research possibilities to soft X-ray light

From right to left: Stefan Albani, Member of the German Bundestag, Wajih Owais, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Jordan, Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Bernhard Kampmann, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Jordan and Khaled Toukan (far left), Director of SESAME, cutting the ribbon. Image: SESAME

Designed by a consortium of five research centres of the Helmholtz Association under the leadership of DESY, the beamline is a state-of-the-art measuring facility for experiments with soft X-ray light and significantly expands the research opportunities for scientists from the region at SESAME. Accordingly, the inauguration was festive, among those present were the Jordanian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Wajih Owais, Bernhard Kampmann, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Jordan, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Chairman of the SESAME Council, Otmar Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, and Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors, on behalf of the HESEB consortium and Astrid Lambrecht, member of the FZJ Board.

Eröffnung der Helmholtz-SESAME-Beamline HESEB
HESEB setup in SESAME. Image: DESY, Edgar Weckert

Helmholtz Association building bridges

All sides strongly underlined the importance of the expanded research opportunities offered by the new HESEB beamline and the collaboration, networking and exchange it promotes between the regional scientific communities. Otmar Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association, emphasised that "for many years now, SESAME has been demonstrating in an impressive way how a joint research project can bring people from different countries in the Middle East together for civilian research - a real bridge builder and a beacon of science diplomacy".

Eröffnung der Helmholtz-SESAME-Beamline HESEB
FZJ-Teilnehmende: Prof. Dr. Lambrecht (Mitglied FZJ-Vorstand), Dr. Hammouda (PostDoc JCNS und Nutzerin der Beamline, Dr. Anne Vollmers (wissenschaftliche Koordinatorin ZEA-1), Dr. Frank Esser (Projektleitung HESEB, ZEA-1). Bild: privat

The Helmholtz Association has funded the four-year HESEB project with 3.5 million euros. The Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and DESY are involved in the project.

The participation of the FZJ in the HESEB consortium makes a very important science diplomacy and peace-building contribution in the Middle East. A contribution to science diplomacy that the FZJ has also been fulfilling in the region since 2016 with the Palestinian-German Science Bridge (PGSB). A pilot project funded by the BMBF and carried out jointly by Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Palestinian Academy for Science and Technology PALAST to develop a joint research and education programme in Palestine.

The FZJ is not only part of the HESEB consortium but also a potential first user of the beamline. One of the first users could be Dr Sabreen Hammouda. Funded by a Returner Fellow of the Palestinian German Science Bridge (PGSB), she is currently a PostDoc at JCNS researching the emergent phenomena of superconductors, a field of research in condensed matter physics - an example of science diplomacy in action that would not be possible without ZEA-1.

Made in Jülich

Eröffnung der Helmholtz-SESAME-Beamline HESEB
The undulator that generates the appropriate light spectrum for the HESEB experiment station. The design comes from SESAME, the magnet from HZB, the chambers were manufactured externally and provided by FZJ - the installation was carried out jointly by SESAME colleagues and the HESEB team. Image: DESY
Eröffnung der Helmholtz-SESAME-Beamline HESEB
Manipulator in the sample location, a small but important component of the beamline. Picture: private

The Central Institute for Engineering and Technology (ZEA-1) contributed its decades of expertise in the field of ultra-high vacuum technology (UHV) and provided the special UHV chambers in the undulator magnet, consisting of a cooled aluminium chamber and four transition chambers made of stainless steel, including the support required for the construction and procurement. The aluminium chamber was additionally provided with a Non Evaporable Getter (NEG) coating on the inside to significantly improve the vacuum quality. An undulator, constructed from a series of dipole magnets, forces a charged particle (usually electrons) flying through onto a usually sinusoidal path. In the process electromagnetic synchrotron radiation is emitted, which is used at the end of the HESEB beamline in an experimental chamber for scientific investigation.

In addition to the undulator chambers, another component of the ZEA-1 work package was the design and manufacture of a manipulator for fixing samples in the vacuum of the frond-end experiment chamber at the end of the HESEB beamline.

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Last Modified: 17.08.2022