© Perry Nordeng


MAX IV Laboratory is a Swedish national laboratory providing scientists with the world’s brightest X-rays for research. The MAX IV facility is based on new technology and scientific theories that have been developed at the Lund-based MAX Lab since the early 1980s.

With the MAX IV facility, Sweden will have the highest quality of X-rays available to scientists from academia and industry in the whole world. It will enable the study of materials that we use today and improve them beyond the performance that we know. The technology provides opportunities to make new discoveries and products in fields such as materials, medicine and the environment. The methods used at MAX IV can be roughly divided into three categories – imaging, spectroscopy and scattering.

Imaging provides knowledge on what materials look like on the surface, as in a photograph, or inside, as in an X-ray image. With nanometre resolution it is possible to see a device that has been built using nanotechnology. The technique can be used to see how the nanostructures within the component are affected when it is used, providing insights into how better and more efficient components can be built, such as more reliable catalysts.

Spectroscopy provides knowledge on chemistry and where the chemical elements of the sample are positioned in relation to each other. Spectroscopy can for example be used to identify which trace substances are present in plant samples. This can provide a better understanding of how metals are taken up by plants and the resulting environmental impact.

Scattering is used to identify how the atoms or molecules are positioned in relation to each other, which is important for the characteristics – mechanical, magnetic, electronic, etc. – of a material. Scattering can be used to observe battery materials in order to see how the atoms move when the battery is charged and thereby gain a better understanding of how improved, lighter and cheaper batteries can be designed. It is also possible to see how the structure of a material changes when it is subjected to mechanical forces. This provides knowledge that can be used to develop new, stronger materials with higher breaking strength.

At MAX IV there are three accelerators – a linear accelerator and two storage rings. At present 16 experiment stations are financed and are being constructed or commissioned. In total, the facility can accommodate 26‒28 experiment stations in the two storage rings and in the extension of the linear accelerator.

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