On 16 March 2011 the electron accelerator of the ALBA Synchrotron emitted synchrotron light for the first time in Spain.
On 16 March 2011 at 15:45 a group of scientists and technicians of the ALBA Synchrotron were toasting with cava. Eight years after the project’s approval, it was possible to produce and see synchrotron light in the accelerators complex of the facility. That moment was the starting point of the ALBA Synchrotron that, one year later, in 2012, started doing the first experiments.
The ALBA Synchrotron is celebrating five years of the commissioning of the accelerator. “It was a very exciting moment because we were testing the work done in previous years and, if everything was going right, we would be able to start with the experiments very soon”, says Francis Pérez, head of the Accelerators’ division and former responsible of the Radiofrequency and Diagnostics section at that time.
ALBA organised an event with all the staff, counting also with the presence of the former responsible of the Accelerators division, Dieter Einfeld. A commemorative video was done to explain the atmosphere of the moment and the anecdotes that took place. The event finished with a toast of all the attendees. “Today is an important day as we celebrate the start-up of the first synchrotron in Spain”, says Caterina Biscari, director of the ALBA Synchrotron.
Nowadays, the accelerators’ complex of ALBA works about 6,000 hours per year with an availability above 97%. New improvements have been done like the working mode in top-up or a new fast orbit feedback system to increase beam stability. ALBA is in operation with seven beamlines (or laboratories) available to perform experiments. At the end of 2016, the eighth beamline will also be in operation. It will be devoted to infrared microspectroscopy. In 2018 and 2020, two new beamlines will be also in operation. ALBA hosts every year more than 1,000 researchers.