FinEstBeAMS provides a new home for luminescence spectroscopy in Europe

FinEstBeAMS provides a new home for luminescence spectroscopy in Europe

Photo of the luminescence endstation at FinEstBeAMS by Ruona.

In 2012, the last dedicated luminescence spectroscopy end station closed its doors at the DESY synchrotron in Hamburg. Since then, the user community has been scattered looking for a place to continue their important research on everything from medical imaging to dark matter detectors. This month, the FinEstBeAMS team showed the world that they are open for business by publishing their initial findings in the journal Radiation Measurements.

Luminescence spectroscopy is an important technique that is frequently carried out in labs around the world. Professor Marco Kirm who co-authored the paper and has been instrumental in the commissioning of FinEstBeAMS performs luminescence experiments in his own lab. However, there are some very important differences between lab and synchrotron setups for luminescence spectroscopy. “Firstly the accessible energy range is significantly extended,” explains Kirm. “At our lab source, we can go up to 10 eV whereas at FinEstBeAMS we can cover the excitation range tunable from 5 to 1500 eV. Using the undulator source together with advanced beamline optics allows us to study the specific properties of materials we are interested in. Researchers benefit also from much higher spectral resolution and photon flux in comparison with the photoluminescence beamlines operated in the past” says Kirm. The final benefit is the time resolution. The light pulses generated at synchrotrons at high repetition rates can be as short as few dozens of picoseconds. “The sub-nanosecond time resolution at a synchrotron is indispensable in studies of ultrafast processes important for modern scintillator applications”, explains Kirm.

It is nearly 4 decades since the luminescence spectroscopy beamline “SUPERLUMI” started operation at DESY and was essential to establishing the modern science that could be done using luminescence spectroscopy.

“SUPERLUMI at DESY played a special role in building up the community of scientists studying luminescence. It was an international collaboration with very fruitful exchanges of experiences between scientists from different countries,” explains Professor Irina Kamenskikh from Moscow State University. “When SUPERLUMI closed, we had nowhere to go. Now FinEstBeAMS is a unique place in Europe for research of this type, at this level.”

The first author of the paper and MAX IV scientist Vladimir Pankratov is proud of the capabilities of the luminescence end station that have been developed at FinEstBeAMS. “The goal of the manuscript was to get the attention of the luminescence spectroscopy community and to invite them to come and perform experiments here at FinEstBeAMS”, explained Pankratov.

The luminescence end station is still under development and there are additions to be made, but the initial feedback has been positive. “Certainly there are things to improve and introduce, but even at this stage it is something that we were really looking forward to using. Our first impression is extremely positive and we are looking forward to the further development of this station,” said Kamenskikh.

Vladimir Pankratov is optimistic about the future, adding “We’re going to make this end station the best for luminescence spectroscopy. Its design allows us to do cutting edge research especially in the area of scintillators which convert high energy into visible light and is important for the next generation of medical imaging and dark matter detection”.

Publication

Progress in development of a new luminescence setup at the FinEstBeAMS beamline of the MAX IV laboratory
Pankratov, Vladimir; Pärna, Rainer; Kirm, Marco; Nagirnyi, Vitali; Nõmmiste, Ergo; Omelkov, Sergei; Vielhauer, Sebastian; Chernenko, Kirill; Reisberg, Liis; Turunen, Paavo; Kivimäki, Antti; Kukk, Edwin; Valdene, Mika, & Huttula, Marko.
(2019) In Radiation Measurements 121. p.91-98

Abstract
FinEstBeAMS is a new materials science beamline at the 1.5 GeV storage ring of the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, Sweden. It has been built based on grazing incidence monochromatization of synchrotron light, which allows to cover a remarkably wide excitation energy range from ultraviolet to soft x-rays (4.5–1450 eV). A new mobile luminescence spectroscopy end station has been commissioned with design benefitting from the advantages of a high flux elliptically polarizing undulator light source. We report on the design of the luminescence end station, its technical realization and performance achieved so far. Special attention is paid to the experimental challenges for luminescence spectroscopy under grazing incidence excitation conditions. The first luminescence results obtained demonstrate a reliable performance of the advanced setup at FinEstBeAMS.