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Scientific Instrument HED

The High Energy Density Science (HED) instrument will be a new, unique platform for experiments combining hard X-ray FEL radiation and the capability to generate matter under extreme conditions of pressure, temperature or electric field using the FEL, high energy optical lasers, or pulsed magnets.

Scientific applications will be studies of matter occurring inside exoplanets, of new extreme-pressure phases and solid-density plasmas, and of structural phase transitions of complex solids in high magnetic fields. In July 2014, the Technical Design report for the HED instrument was published. The HED instrument experiment enclosure construction was completed in July 2014. Construction of the experimental hutches will start in late 2015, and first beamline components will be installed in summer 2016. The first user experiment will start in the second half of 2017.

Key features

Bandwidth ΔE/E

10-3 (natural FEL source) and 10-4 (standard monochromator, seeding); 10-6* (high-resolution monochromator)

Photon energy range

3–5 keV**, 5–20 keV, 20–25 keV**


Linear (horizontal)
Circular (future option)

Pulse duration

2–100 fs FWHM

Beam size

Sub-µm to > 100 µm (provided by various compound refractive lens stages)
>mm unfocused

Special optics

Split and delay line (BMBF contribution)
High-resolution monochromator

Optical lasers

High-energy (100 J-class) long pulse (>ns) laser (HIBEF contribution)
High-intensity (100 TW-class) short pulse (~30 fs) laser (HIBEF contribution)
Pump–probe (mJ to 100 mJ class) short pulse (~15 fs – 1 ps) laser

*10-6 bandwidth only for a few selected photon energies
**Limited in terms of focusing capability, available photon number of sample, quantum efficiency of detectors