The Small Quantum Systems (SQS) instrument is situated at the SASE3 branch, where soft X-ray radiation in a photon energy range between 260 eV and 3000 eV (4.8 nm to 0.4 nm) with up to 2×1014 photons per pulse and up to 27000 pulses per second is available.

The ultrashort FEL pulses of < 50 fs in combination with a synchronized optical laser allow for capturing ultrafast nuclear dynamics with unprecedented resolution. Two high-quality X-ray mirrors in Kirkpatrick-Baez configuration focus the FEL beam to a FWHM spot size of < 1 µm diameter. This results in an intensity of more than 1018 W/cm2 within the interaction region.

Three versatile, interchangeable experimental end stations have been designed for investigations of atomic and molecular systems, as well as clusters, nano-particles and small bio-molecules and are available to the user community:

  •   the Atomic-like Quantum Systems (AQS) end station
  •   the Nano-sized Quantum Systems (NQS) end station
  •   the Reaction Microscope (REMI) end station

All end stations are foreseen to be commissioned before or during the early user operation phase and are thus all available for the first call for proposals. For the early user experiments, only SQS equipment can be used. In the future, user-provided sample delivery systems  or other modifications of the setup may be considered.

All end stations can be operated in any of the available focal positions (only one position available for day-one experiments). They can be exchanged by removing the chamber including the support structure. The high-precision mechanical base of each endstation facilitates precise alignment with a reproducibility of about 5 µm.

More details on the individual components of the instrument can be found on the following pages.