The ALBA synchrotron initiates a new Beam Line

Published: March 9, 2022

3Sbar (Surface Structure and Spectroscopy at 1 bar) is the name of the next ALBA beamline that will be extremely useful to provide answers to environment protection. 3Sbar is a unique instrument that will provide unprecedented insight on the understanding of fundamental processes in catalytic reactions. The project, funded by the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan within the framework of the NextGenerationEU, will enter operation in 2026.

The scientific case of the project and its conceptual design has been elaborated by Professor Enrique Ortega (CFM, UPV/EHU), Dr. Xavier Torrelles (Institut de Ciència dels Materials de Barcelona, CSIC) and Dr. Eduardo Solano (ALBA Synchrotron), with the support and collaboration of many ALBA colleagues from the Experiments, Accelerator, Computing and Engineering Divisions.

The 3Sbar project has been chosen as ALBA 14th beamline. It will allow simultaneous photoemission experiments at 1 bar gas pressures and surface X ray diffraction. The electronic and atomic structures will be both probed during surface chemical reactions and catalytic operando reactions. The products of the reactions will also be analysed by gas phase photoemission.

This new beamline will be key to understand the correlation between chemical reactions and structural changes at atmospheric pressures, which represents a big step ahead for fundamental research in surface chemistry and catalysis. It will allow to get a deep insight in the basic processes determining the efficiencies of catalysts under industrial operating pressures.

3Sbar will be extremely useful to provide answers to environmental protection, challenges such as CO2 reduction, the wastewater treatment, development of environmentally friendly industrial catalytic processes or recycling of greenhouse gases.

The beamline, adaptable to many different sample environments, will serve a wide community of users at a national and international level, from academy and industrial worlds.

Its estimated cost is 9 million euros, which have been granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the European Recovery and Resilience Facility within the NextGenerationEU Programme. It covers the construction and staff positions needed for designing and operating this new beamline. Two new job positions are open now. The detailed design of the beamline starts now, the construction is expected to finish in 2025 and the instrument will be in operation by 2026.

The selection of the project is the final step of a process of internal discussion and interaction with the scientific user community, which has produced several high-level proposals, to be considered as candidates for the future beamlines. ALBA thanks the whole community and in particular the ALBA Scientific Advisory Committee and the Instrument Review Panel, an ad-hoc scientific committee, who have assisted for the final evaluation and the decision-making.

“Each new beamline opens new windows in understanding the complexity of the world around us. With 3Sbar, ALBA aims to be at the fore-front of catalysis science, building a unique scientific instrument with strong capabilities for preserving our environment”, says Caterina Biscari, director of the ALBA Synchrotron.