SOLEIL (, an acronym for “Optimized Light Source of Intermediate Energy to LURE* , is both an electromagnetic radiation source covering a wide range of energies (from the infrared to the x-rays) and a research laboratory at the cutting edge of experimental techniques dedicated to matter analysis down to the atomic scale, as well as a service platform open to all scientific and industrial communities.

SOLEIL holds a private statute as a “Civil Company.” It is located on the Plateau de Saclay in Saint Aubin, Essonne and financed by two principal shareholders: the CEA and the CNRS. SOLEIL is laso financed by four key partners, the Ile de France Region, the Essonne Department, the Centrel Region, and the state (Ministry of Research).

The synchrotron radiation is today essential in Research and Industrial applications.

*LURE: "Laboratoire d’Utilisation du Rayonnement Électromagnétique" (french) / "Laboratory for the Use of Electromagnetic Radiation" (english).

The Purpose of SOLEIL

SOLEIL is a source of light endowed with extraordinary properties, necessary for the scientific community:

  1. High brilliance: 10,000 times brighter than sunlight.
  2. A wide spectral range: from infrared (a few μeV) to hard X-rays (100 keV).
  3. Light polarisation: linear, circular, etc.
  4. Pulsed light.

SOLEIL provides new perspectives in the study of matter with a resolution down to millionths of meters and a sensitivity to all types of materials.

Main Areas of Research

Fundamental Research

SOLEIL covers fundamental research needs in physics, chemistry, material sciences, life sciences (notably in the crystallography of biological macromolecules), earth sciences, and atmospheric sciences. It offers the use of a wide range of spectroscopic methods from infrared to X-rays, and structural methods such as X-ray diffraction and diffusion.

Applied Research

In applied research, SOLEIL can be used in many various fields such as pharmacy, medicine, chemistry, petrochemistry, environment, nuclear energy, and the automobile industry, as well as nanotechnologies, micromechanics and microelectronics, and more.

SOLEIL in Numbers (2017)


Articles written using SOLEIL facilities


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