Scientific Instrument MID

The scope of the MID instrument are material science experiments using the unprecedented coherent properties of the X-ray laser beams of the European XFEL. The scientific applications reach from condensed matter physics, studying for example glass formation and magnetism, to soft and biological material, such as colloids, cells and viruses. Several X-ray scattering and imaging techniques will be offered taking advantage of coherence, flux, and ultrashort duration of the X-ray pulses.


Imaging covers a broad range of techniques and scientific fields, from classical phase-contrast tomography to coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (CXDI) and with applications, e.g. in strain imaging inside nanostructured materials to bio-imaging of whole cells. In many cases the aim is to obtain a 3D representation of the investigated structure. By phase retrieval methods it is possible to pass from the measured diffraction patterns in reciprocal space to a real space visualization of the scattering object.


Complex nanoscale dynamics is an ubiquitous phenomenon of fundamental interest at the forefront of condensed matter science, and comprises a multitude of processes from visco-elastic flow or dissipation in liquids and glasses to polymer dynamics, protein folding, crystalline phase transitions, ultrafast spin transitions, domain wall dynamics, magnetic domain switching and many more. The extremely brilliant and highly coherent X-ray beams will open up unseen possibilities to study dynamics in disordered systems down to atomic length scales, with timescales ranging from femtoseconds to seconds.

Beam parameters and instrument specifications for Run 3 of Early User Experiments:

  • Tentative Parameters for Early User Experiments at MID

Bandwidth 6×10-5, 10-4, or 10-3 (pink)
Photon energy range 5–25 keV (coherent) and > 25 keV (high-energy option)
Bunch charge 1–1000 pC
Polarization Linear (horizontal)
Pulse duration 1–100 fs
Beam size 1–200 µm, 1 mm, and nanofocus option
Special optics 2 monochromators (Si111 and Si220)
2 compound refractive lens (CRL) transfocator units
Split and delay line
High-energy Laue monochromator (optional)
Mirror in experiment hutch (for grazing incidence liquid scattering)
Equipment Multipurpose chamber
SAXS/WAXS geometries with long horizontal detector arm
Small vertical WAXS setup
Single-pulse X-ray diagnostics
Different detector systems (AGIPD, FastCCD)
Optical pump laser source