4th GENERATION LIGHT SOURCE (4GLS)
4GLS will be a world-leading photon facility to enable a broad range of outstanding science programmes by the UK and international communities. The 4GLS project has successfully passed the OGC Gateways zero and one. Gateways two and three are planned for 2006.
4GLS Science Landscapes » (pdf 5.51MB)
The 4GLS facility will combine energy recovery linac (ERL) and free electron laser (FEL) technologies to deliver a suite of naturally synchronised state-of-the-art sources of synchrotron radiation and FEL radiation covering the terahertz (THz) to soft X-ray regimes. 4GLS is the leading energy recovery proposal in Europe and the most comprehensive in terms of utilisation of combined sources. In terms of multiuser capability, it is currently the most advanced ERL proposal in the world, offering the opportunity to establish an international lead for the UK. 4GLS is complementary to TESLA XFEL, to table-top lasers and to third generation sources available to the UK research community.
The unique advantages of 4GLS are:
- combinations of sources. The fully integrated capability to utilize both short pulse SR(ERL) and the FEL sources for pump-probe and two colour dynamics experiments. This results in both experimental flexibility and cost effective delivery;
- intense, tuneable, variable polarisation FEL sources optimized for spectroscopy and imaging in frequency ranges XUV, VUV and IR-THz;
- energy recovery linac spontaneous light sources available from soft X-ray - THz. This gives short pulse, high repetition rate operation, the capability to 'pulse tailor', and low probability of sample damage; and
- Europe's most intense broadband source of coherent THz radiation.
4GLS will enable the study of real time molecular processes and reactions on timescales down to tens of femtoseconds in short-lived, nanostructured or ultra-dilute systems. The emphasis is on molecular and device function, rather than the largely 'static' structural focus of work on 3rd generation synchrotron radiation sources and X-ray FELs. Key areas where 4GLS will make unique contributions are in:
- understanding the function of single biomolecules in living systems and membrane transport;
- determining catalytic reaction pathways (in areas as diverse as enzyme processes, reactions contributing to atmospheric pollution or occurring in the interstellar medium);
- studies of electron motion in atoms/molecules and developing 'coherent control' of reactions;
- developing new nanoscale devices through understanding electron charge and spin transport; and
- development of new dynamic imaging techniques to improve early diagnosis of conditions such as cancer and prion based diseases.
In addition to technical design work, the 4GLS Team have been generating stronger links with industry. The first 4GLS Industry Meeting was held in Manchester in September 2004. The lively meeting attracted over seventy delegates representing companies interested both in the advanced technology required for 4GLS and the scientific exploitation of 4GLS. Application areas represented were particularly diverse spanning pharmaceuticals, through skin care products to nano materials and catalysis.