The European XFEL is a research facility of superlatives: It generates ultrashort X-ray flashes—27 000 times per second and with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources.


The operation schedule shows planned beam time for the coming months and the facility status diagram shows current X-ray delivery.


The linear accelerator of the European XFEL is unique in the world. As the longest superconducting linear accelerator in the world, it provides the energy needed to generate the European XFEL's X-ray flashes. As an international effort involving 17 institutes, development of this critical portion of the facility is an example of excellent scientific cooperation across borders.


As an X-ray free-electron laser, the European XFEL generates X-ray laser light from accelerated electrons. It does so using undulators: long sections of alternating magnetic fields.

Safety and Environment

The European XFEL is a safe facility and its construction and operation below and in densely populated areas bears no risk. There is no danger for the environment, not even in the event of an incident.


Besides the European XFEL in Germany, next-generation light sources also exist in Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and the USA. However, the European XFEL is the largest facility and has properties that set it apart from the others.

Virtual Tour

Take an in-depth tour of the European XFEL in your web browser! Have a look through the tunnels of the 3.4-km long X-ray free-electron laser facility, from the electron source in DESY-Bahrenfeld to the instruments at the Schenefeld research campus. Start from the injector by clicking the link below, and be sure to look around—you can see 360° around you in every location!