TIMEX collaboration project: overview

The development of the TIMEX end-station installed at the Fermi@ELETTRA free-electron laser (FEL) has been proposed by the XAS group @ Camerino University and financed by Sincrotrone Trieste within a collaboration agreement between two research groups (EIS beamline, Fermi@ELETTRA Trieste, XAS group Camerino University).

The TIMEX project was approved in late 2007, it has been active in the years 2008-2012 and continued for some months in 2013. The TIMEX end-station is currently operated under the responsibility of the EIS beamline team (EIS-TIMEX beamline).

The collaboration project was aimed at: 1) design, building and commissioning the TIMEX end-station; 2) conceiving a long-term scientific program for the end-station; 3) performance and analysis of pilot experiments assisting successive FEL measurements; 4) performance and analysis of the first FEL experiments using the TIMEX end-station.

The original planned schedule was delayed for various reasons including: 1) postponed date of delivery (2011) of controlled FEL1 pulses; 2) postponed date of delivery (mid 2013) of optical (seed) laser pulses; 3) postponed date for delivery (late 2013) of the elliptical focusing mirror.

Taking into account those delays, our efforts were first concentrated in designing and commissioning of the beamline and in the performance of pilot experiments (see list of publications). A review of the status (June 2013), advances and results achieved within the TIMEX collaboration using the FEL1 source can be found in the report

``Probing matter under extreme conditions at the free-electron-laser facilities: the TIMEX beamline'', Notiziario Neutroni e Luce di Sincrotrone, vol. 18 (July 2013).


With the advent of 4th generation free electron laser (FEL) light sources, which provide ultra-short pulses and high photon numbers per pulse in the VUV to X-ray wavelength range, a wide variety of experiments ranging from condensed matter physics to plasma physics becomes now accessible for the first time.

The aim of the TIMEX project has been the design and construction of an end-station to investigate metastable and/or excited states of matter under extreme conditions at the Italian FERMI@Elettra free electron laser facility.

The energy and intensity of the Fermi@Elettra FEL pulses is suitable for an efficient ultrafast heating of most bulk-like dense samples. The original scientific program was intended to exploit this unique source for two classes of experiments:

  1. creation and investigation of warm dense matter (WDM)
  2. phase transitions occurring in metastable states under extreme conditions
Reference papers for the main scientific topics, setup, and preliminary experimental results related to the TIMEX project (end-station) are:

  • Probing phase transitions under extreme conditions by ultrafast techniques: advances at the Fermi@Elettra free-electron-laser facility , Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 357, 2641 (2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2011.02.039. [reprint request] [go to electronic journal]
  • "Probing matter under extreme conditions at FERMI@Elettra: the TIMEX beamline'' , Damage to VUV, EUV, and X-ray Optics III, edited by Libor Juha, Sasa Bajt, Richard A. London, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8077, 807704 (2011). [reprint request] [go to electronic journal]
  • Andrea Di Cicco, Claudio Masciovecchio, Filippo Bencivenga, Emiliano Principi, Erika Giangrisostomi, Andrea Battistoni, Riccardo Cucini, Francesco D'Amico, Silvia Di Fonzo, Alessandro Gessini, Keisuke Hatada, Roberto Gunnella, Adriano Filipponi, "Probing matter under extreme conditions at free-electron laser facilities: the TIMEX beamline'' , Notiziario Neutroni e Luce di Sincrotrone, Vol. 18, 19-27 (2013). [pdf reprint] [reprint request] [go to electronic journal] UFTransmission

  • Publication list



    TIMEX_chamber "Tightening the screws... " Assembling and vacuum test of the TIMEX chamber (Bencivenga, Filipponi, Ferrante, D'Amico)
    Fermi exp. hall Fermi experimental hall - first days (17 nov 2010)
    Timex end-station
    First temporary installation of the TIMEX chamber at the exit of the FEL1 source. The FEL beam (yellow dashed line, guide for the eye) is aligned up to the main TIMEX chamber (17 March 2011).