DESY Photon Science Users' meeting 2022 - Online for the second time

The large-scale research facilities highlight the benefits of their research for the protection of mankind and the environment.

Photon Science and XFEL Users' Meeting 2022

Online event in 2022: DESY Photon Science and XFEL Users' Meeting (Credit: DESY, PR).

Photon Science and XFEL Users' Meeting 2022

Christian Schroer, scientific head of PETRA III at DESY, presented the technical design and beamline portfolio of the PETRA IV project at the Users' Meting 2022 (Credit: DESY).

From 21 to 28 January 2022, the DESY Photon Science Users' Meeting took place simultaneously with the users' meeting of the European XFEL. In total, more than 2000 researchers from all over the world registered to join the online event to discuss the latest research results. At the meeting, the directors of the two centres presented a "Joint Declaration of DESY and European XFEL", with which the two research centres want to put themselves even more at the service of solving acute societal problems, such as climate change or the Corona pandemic.

At the conference DESY Director Helmut Dosch explained the reasons for the joint declaration: “Hamburg is home to the world's best X-ray light sources. They enable us to make decisive contributions to the rapid development of tailor-made materials and active substances. DESY and the European XFEL want to put these high-tech methods even more at the service of research groups working on new materials for a future circular economy and on new drugs and vaccines.”

The X-ray light sources at DESY and the European XFEL offer, for example, insights into nanostructures of advanced solar cells, or analyse how new drugs work. At the conference, Harald Haas (Vice President Formulation & Drug Delivery BioNTech) and Peter Langguth (Professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), presented the insights gained by the X-ray light from PETRA III in research on novel mRNA vaccines. The researchers explored the structural components of lipid nanoparticles, which serve as transport containers for mRNA, at the experimental station of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL.

“Especially here at the conference with the numerous examples of result-oriented research, we see clearly that research with X-ray light can play an essential role in protecting our planet and humanity,” says Robert Feidenhans'l, Managing Director of the European XFEL. Therefore, the research centres are engaged in the field of molecular water research.

The 'Water Call' of the European XFEL

Water is of fundamental importance for life on Earth. To explore its unusual physical properties in more detail, DESY is in the process of establishing the Centre for Molecular Water Science CMWS, and European XFEL is launching a call for proposals to study molecular water.

The northerners EuXFEL, PETRA III and FLASH

Due to the COVID pandemic, the annual user conferences of the Hamburg X-ray light sources took place exclusively online for the second time in a row. For three days, the more than 2000 participants from about 40 nations exchanged information about new developments at this year's meeting. With the X-ray lasers FLASH and European XFEL and the synchrotron light source PETRA III, which is set to be upgraded to the even more powerful PETRA IV in the future, an enormous range of investigation possibilities for the atomic structure and dynamics of different materials is available to the user community in order to solve fundamental mysteries.

(partly from DESY News)

Further information:

Joint declaration of DESY and European XFEL: 'Research for a better future' (pdf)

DESY News 2020: The pharmaceutical company BioNTech and the University of Mainz are conducting research together with other partners at the EMBL beamline at PETRA III.