The project ‘CristallinaXTREME: X-ray diffraction under extreme conditions’ will enable a new class of experiments that combine extreme conditions of magnetic field and temperature with the ultrashort X-ray flashes provided by the SwissFEL X-ray free electron laser operational at the Paul Scherrer institute, opening new prospects to the development of next generation quantum technologies.

Lay summary

Content and goal of the research project

The goal of the project is to procure and install state-of-the-art experimental infrastructure at the SwissFEL X-ray free electron laser facility that will enable investigations on systems subject to ultralow temperatures and ultrahigh magnetic fields. The instrumentation to generate the extreme conditions is provided in-kind by the project partners. The new infrastructure will include the elements to shape and monitor the X-rays for the needs of the experiments, as well as the platforms to operate the heavy-weight instruments.

Scientific and social context of the research project

The properties of quantum matter are dominated by quantum effects, and understanding its properties is essential for the development of the new quantum-based technologies which promise to revolutionize the field of computation and informatics.

The quantum matter regime is typically encountered in condensed matter exposed to extreme condition environments, for which ultrashort X-ray flashes have the potential as the non-invasive investigation tool par excellence. Therefore, the worldwide unique combination of an X-ray free electron laser with extreme sample conditions at a dedicated experimental station will contribute promoting the Paul Scherrer institute to a worldwide leading position in the field of quantum technology.