National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) announces that a new, state-of-the-art experimental facility – TPS 45A Submicron Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline, is officially opened. As one of the beamlines at the Taiwan Photon Source (TPS), it delivers soft X-ray with high brilliance, low emittance, and ultra-high spectra resolution, which is ideal for studying and developing novel materials, such as superconducting, nano and magnetic materials.

The ceremony was addressed by Deputy Minister Yu-Chin Hsu of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Director Gwo-Huei Luo of NSRRC, Chien-Te Chen (member of the NSRRC Board of Director), Director Liu Hao Tjeng of Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids (MPI CPfS), Vice President Chii-dong Ho of Tamkang University (TKU), Director Thomas Prinz of German Institute Taipei (DIT), and Peilan Tung of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The TPS, one of the brightest synchrotron light sources in the world, has begun its operation since 2016. With promising prospects of the high-quality beams from the TPS, MPI CPfS invested 1.5 million Euro to construct the “Submicron Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline” with the NSRRC. Later, MPI CPfS added another 1 million Euro to build a “Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Endstation” at this corresponding beamline. This facility will definitely reinforce the bilateral collaboration in scientific research between Taiwan and Germany.

At the same time, Tamkang University recognized superiority and significance of this beamline. With a total budget of 25 million NTD coming from TKU and MOST funding granted to Prof. Way-Faung Pong under the “Program to Feature the R&D of Private Universities,” another endstation was built. This Soft X-ray Emission Endstation aims to characterize emergent materials in semiconductors and energy sciences. While sharing the upstream of TPS 45A beamline, MPI CPfS and TKU have each set up a very distinctive endstation.

Deputy Minister Yu-Chin Hsu of MOST congratulated the TPS for being the nation’s foremost scientific facility. Its sophisticated equipment and instruments have not only brought in research projects carried out by reputable international institutions, but also attracted them to make the capital investment in beamline and facility construction. It is indeed a noteworthy milestone in Taiwan’s academia. Hailed as the “Light of Taiwan,” the TPS brings the top talents and resources together, in the hopes of inducing major research breakthroughs at a global level or even a Nobel level.

“The research team led by Director Liu Hao Tjeng started conducting experiments in NSRRC as a user two decades ago. More than 90 papers have been published collaboratively in prestige international journals. Prof. Way-Faung Pong has also collaborated with the NSRRC for almost 20 years; the performance is particularly productive in the field of X-ray absorption spectroscopy. NSRRC, MPI and TKU will certainly all benefit from the Submicron Soft X-ray Spectroscopy Beamline and make advances in emergent materials,” said Director Luo of NSRRC.

MPI CPfS is one of the institutes in the Max Planck Society (MPS), which is a world’s leading research organization in Germany. It is famed as the “cradle of Nobel Laureates.” Since its formation in 1948, 18 Nobel laureates in the areas of physics, chemistry and medicine have emerged from the ranks of its scientists. The remarkable research carried out at MPS results in more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals. Director Tjeng of MPI CPfS emphasized the mutual benefit from working with different nationalities inside or outside Germany. He appreciated the long-standing scientific collaboration with Taiwan, including all the manpower, budget, and technical know-how being shared over these years. “Together we share all these facilities. We share a lot of knowledge. This is the real collaboration.”

Physics Department at TKU has contributed immensely to synchrotron-related research; “the TKU Endstation at TPS 45A is a perfect example of our hard work and an indication that we are indeed moving forward in the right direction.” said Vice President Ho of TKU. He praised the collaborative effort between NSRRC, MPI CPfS and TKU for making the TPS 45A facility accessible; it will provide “an ideal platform for the entire scientific community and may lead to new discoveries and innovations.”

In addition to investing in the construction of a beamline and an endstation, MPI CPfS signed an agreement with the POSTECH University, NSRRC, National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) and National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in 2017 to establish the Max Planck/POSTECH MPK/NSRRC-NCTU-NTHU Center in Taiwan. The partners from Korea, Taiwan and Germany are committed to pledging 0.7 million Euros each year to support research abroad, to strengthen the scientific collaboration, to increase exchange opportunities, and to foster young scientists.