Professor Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors.


Future Project 

One of the great challenges of our time. Is how to solve pressing issues for the furure. New materials and drugs play an important role in this. They must be smarter and more powerful than today's raw-material-based products.

Future developments are effectively harnessing sunlight, producing fuel from water splitting or carbon dioxide recycling, and forming the basis for a CO2-friendly energy supply as well as environmentally friendly transport and information systems. In machines and cells, they would control chemical processes at the molecular level. In drug discovery, too, molecular concepts will open up new opportunities for medicine in the fight against infectious diseases or cancer. 

However, the properties of suitable substances and materials can often only be studied and controlled at the nanoscale. This requires a new generation of photon sources with analytical capabilities that were previously unimaginable. With the 3D X-ray microscope PETRA IV, Germany is facing up to this challenge. The new synchrotron radiation source at DESY will revolutionise X-ray imaging. PETRA IV will enable researchers to examine individual objects on the nanometer scale for the first time and to record the structure, energetics and function of molecular units in materials and cells under realistic operating and environmental conditions. The facility is to be built on the DESY research campus in Hamburg Bahrenfeld within the existing PETRA III ring tunnel and will go into operation in 2027.

The experimental conditions at PETRA IV are particularly attractive for materials research and structural biology. But they will also create completely new opportunities for nano and geosciences, planetary research and the study of properties and processes in water. The interdisciplinary Center for Molecular Water Research (CMWS) planned on the DESY campus – alongside the Center for Infection Research (CSSB), the Center for Research with X-Ray Light and Nanoscience (CXNS) and the Hamburg site of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) – will fully exploit the science potential of PETRA IV.

In addition to the requirements of research groups, the future needs of high-tech industry have also been taken into account in the design of PETRA IV. This concept already reflects how DESY intends to position the new large-scale research facility PETRA IV in Germany as a scientific location. 

Prof. Helmut Dosch

Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors