Timeline

A short history of European XFEL.

2004

Representatives from the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein sign a treaty that provides the basis for the construction and operation of the X-ray laser facility.

2005

January 2005: Nine countries—France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK—sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the preparatory phase of the European XFEL facility. By the end of the year, the MoU is also signed by China, Denmark, Hungary, and Russia.

August 2005: User operation begins at the new 260 m long DESY FEL (later renamed FLASH), which is used for studies and technological developments related to future projects, such as the European XFEL.

2006

The DESY XFEL project team and the European XFEL project team publish the TDR for the proposed European XFEL facility, describing the facility’s technical and scientific details.  

1980–1984

The idea of a single-pass FEL for short wavelengths is introduced in the works of A.M. Kondratenko and E.L. Saldin (1980) as well as R. Bonifacio, C. Pellegrini, and L.M. Narducci (1984).

1992

At an international collaboration at DESY, scientists begin to develop and test the technology for the Tera-Electronvolt Energy Superconducting Linear Accelerator (TESLA) project. This technology eventually forms the basis for the European XFEL.

1997

In May 1997 the TESLA collaboration, led by DESY, publishes a conceptual design report (CDR) for TESLA, a linear collider with an integrated X-ray laser facility.

2000

For the first time, scientists at the DESY TESLA Test Facility generate shortwave laser light in the ultraviolet range (80–180 nm) using the pioneering SASE FEL principle on which the European XFEL is based.

2001

March 2001: The TESLA collaboration at DESY publishes the TESLA technical design report (TDR) describing a superconducting linear collider with an integrated X-ray laser facility.

September 2001: The FEL at the TESLA Test Facility demonstrates the greatest possible light amplification at 98 nm. A user programme with first experiments starts soon afterwards.

2002

As a supplement to the 2001 TESLA TDR, a TDR is published for an X-ray laser facility with a dedicated linear accelerator in a separate tunnel.

2003

February 2003: The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) announces its plan to realize the X-ray laser facility described in the TESLA TDR supplement. The facility is to be a European project, with Germany meeting about 50% of the costs.

October 2003: The site for the new X-ray laser facility is presented to the public. The facility starts at DESY in Hamburg and reaches to Schenefeld in the neighbouring state of Schleswig-Holstein.

2004

In September 2004 representatives from the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein sign a treaty that provides the basis for the construction and operation of the X-ray laser facility.

2005

January 2005: Nine countries—France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK—sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the preparatory phase of the European XFEL facility. By the end of the year, the MoU is also signed by China, Denmark, Hungary, and Russia.

August 2005: User operation begins at the new 260 m long DESY FEL (later renamed FLASH), which is used for studies and technological developments related to future projects, such as the European XFEL.

2006

The DESY XFEL project team and the European XFEL project team publish the TDR for the proposed European XFEL facility, describing the facility’s technical and scientific details.  

2007

January 2007: The First European XFEL Users’ Meeting is held at DESY, with 260 scientists from 22 countries attending.  

June 2007: The European XFEL project is officially launched by the BMBF and representatives from 12 partner countries. The launch of the tender process for civil construction follows soon after.

July 2007: The four-year Pre-XFEL project is launched, with the objective to provide the technical, legal, and financial documents necessary for the foundation of a company to build and run the European XFEL facility.