The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science is a novel joint enterprise of DESY, the Max Planck Society (MPG), and the University of Hamburg. CFEL is designed to advance science with next generation light sources. The three partners join forces to explore structural changes of atoms, molecules, condensed, biological, or warm dense matter on femtosecond time scales. CFEL envisions uncovering the "dynamics of matter" by uniting expertise from various disciplines and research institutions into a new interdisciplinary and synergistic effort.
DESY is represented by two Experimental Research Divisions one for
of Henry Chapman and the second for
Ultrafast Optics and X-Rays
of Franz X. Kärtner and
Division of Robin Santra.
Within the Coherent Imaging Division an independent research group
Controlled Molecule Imaging
is led by Jochen Küpper.
The Max Planck Society is represented by the
Research Department for Structural Dynamics
(MPSD), funded in cooperation with the University of Hamburg. This comprises currently two experimental
The first division focuses on Condensed Matter Dynamics and is directed by Andrea Cavalleri. Within this division, an independent junior research group for Extreme Timescales is led by Adrian Cavalieri.
The Max Planck Research Group for Atomically Resolved Dynamics directed by Dwayne Miller represents the second division. Within this division, an independent junior research group for Ultrafast Molecular Dynamics is led by Nils Huse.
The independent junior research group for the Theory of Correlated Systems out of Equilibrium led by Martin Eckstein supports the whole Research Department for Structural Dynamics. In addition the MPSD jointly hosts together with the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart the independent Max Planck Research Group for the Dynamics of Nanoelectronic Systems. of Sebastian Loth
Furthermore the Max Planck Society has established a Max Planck Advanced Study Group. This new concept for intersectional collaboration, with presently eight individual MPIs and a group of ten scientists and technicians at CFEL, shall support, enable and develop interdisciplinary MP-research at FELs, in atomic, molecular, plasma and biophysics as well as in chemistry. The Advanced Study group also hosts two independent Max Planck Research Groups. Structure and Dynamics of Cold and Controlled Molecules led by Melanie Schnell and the group for X-ray Quantum Optics led by Nina Rohringer.
The University of Hamburg is represented by an Advanced Study Group covering various research directions of the Physics department of the University , e.g. detector development, laser physics, ultra short X-ray physics and X-ray spectroscopy and dynamics.
In June 2009 the construction of the CFEL building started with the ground-breaking. The foundation stone was laid as a first milestone on September 29th 2009. The topping out ceremony took place on the 20th of July 2010 and the final completion of the building and move in early fall 2012.
Funded by the State of Hamburg and the German Federal Government and designed by the architecture firm hammeskrause, the building has been planned according to the requirements and wishes of the research groups within the CFEL: the office layouts encourage communication and discussion, and the distribution of laboratories anticipate and support collaborations of groups working in biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics, or in the use of advanced laser facilities.