Overview of Beamline Optics Division

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Overview of Beamline Optics Division

Overview of Beamline Optics Division


A beamline is a system that safely delivers high-quality (bright, highly parallel) X-rays produced by the light source accelerators at the SPring-8, processed to suit the user's application.


The beamline consists of the following characteristic parts.The most upstream part is called a front end, which is connected to an ultrahigh-vacuum storage ring and  manages high-power X-rays up to kilowatts. In the central part, there is an optics system that enables the user to tailor the X-ray beam properties such as energy (wavelength), magnitude, and polarization, and a transport channel that precisely controls the attitude of X-ray optical elements such as crystals and mirrors in the ultrahigh vacuum while cooling them appropriately. Experimental equipment and detectors familiar to users are located at the end of the beamline.

All of these beamline components  in a front-end, an optics, and a transport channel,are designed to be remotely controlled. It is of utmost importance that even the most powerful X-rays can be used safely. Radiation shielding devices such as shielding hutches and beam shutters are robustly constructed and maintained in compliance with the law regarding the safety.


The Beamline Optics Division is responsible for the maintenance, operation, and improvement of the backbone of the beamline to manage the high-quality X-rays of all the public beamlines. That is to say, we take responsibility for the stable supply of high-brilliant synchrotron radiation together with the accelerator division, while being involved in the development of beamline optics technology with an eye to the future.


Beamline technology is based on complex ones that actively utilize knowledge from a wide range of scientific and technological fields, including precision engineering, vacuum engineering, heat transfer engineering, materials engineering, electrical and electronic engineering as well as information technologies. The Beamline Optics Division not only designs and invents advanced devices based on new ideas, but also standardizes and disseminates advanced beamline optics technology while taking a broad perspective view of the beamline, keeping in mind beam adjustment and maintainability.


In SPring-8, many beamlines are used simultaneously for several months.The beamline is a complex system of advanced research equipments, not like equipment in a laboratory of a university, because it requires a unified design, manufacture, and maintenance that considers the scale and reliability like a factory, as well as installation and maintenance costs. For this reason, we strongly cooperate with various groups and experts in the synchrotron radiation field, as well as in industry, academia, and government, both in Japan and abroad, in order to ensure that the X-rays at the SPring-8 are state-of-the-art and highly competitive on a global scale.


 The Beamline Optics Division has the following two groups including four teams with 26 research and technical staff (including those with concurrent positions).


Optical Engineering Group

Precision Mechanics and Vacuum Team

Radiation Safety Design and Component Team

Optical Device Group

Optical Design and Diagnostics

TeamThermal Management Team


Haruhiko Ohashi (Director)



Reference book related to the work of Beamline Optics Division (in Japanese)