The ultrafast beamline facilitates studies of the structure and dynamics of materials. Such studies are of fundamental importance for key scientific problems directly related to programming materials using light, enabling new storage media and new manufacturing techniques, obtaining sustainable energy by mimicking photo-synthesis and gleaning insight into chemical and biological functional dynamics. Due to the emergence of X-ray sources with high peak brilliance, the field of pico-second X-ray diffraction has developed rapidly over the last few years. The key technology behind future breakthroughs in this area is the generation and detection of very short and very intense X-ray pulses. The femtosecond X-ray beamline at the MAX IV short-pulse facility (SPF) will have pulse lengths on the time scale of molecular vibrations at wavelengths matching inter-atomic distances (Å). Swedish scientists have a prominent international profile in developing and utilizing ultrafast X-ray techniques. With strong national activities it is anticipated that this position will be even strengthened.
The FemtoMAX will be of great interest not only for the Swedish research community but will, also in an international perspective, become a core facility for ultrafast X-ray experiments in physics, chemistry and biology.