On 4 February 2021, the Mayor of Kraków issued a building permit for the strategic project “Reconstruction and Expansion of the Solaris National Synchrotron Radiation Centre”, which will include the construction of new beamlines. The new section is planned to be opened in 2022.
The event is a milestone for the project, meaning that in a few months, after the completion of the current last phase of the engineering documentation, the tender for construction works will begin. The works should commence in the second half of 2021, says Paweł Bulira, Deputy Technical Director at SOLARIS.
The area of the synchrotron will be significantly expanded (by more than 2,000 square metres), with new beamlines located in the new section, as it was impossible to place them in the currently available space. These will include the SOLCRYS beamline for structural research, whose end stations will enable analyses of the structure of proteins, viruses, nucleic acids, and polymers.
Due to the dynamic development of SOLARIS as well as other launched and planned projects, the concept of the building expansion has undergone many changes and optimisation measures in the final engineering phase. This has allowed for the inclusion, apart from the originally planned functions and spaces, of a microscope system as part of the development of the National Cryo-EM Centre. The building will also house a system for the recovery and condensation of helium used for experiments, as well as server room infrastructure.
The project will cost 22 million PLN. Its implementation is possible owing to the subsidy granted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The new section of the facility is planned to be completed in 2022.
The Jagiellonian University National Synchrotron Radiation Centre SOLARIS, built in 2010-2015, is the first of its kind in Central Eastern Europe. Synchrotrons, sources of a unique type of light, known as synchrotron radiation, allow scientists from around the world to achieve breakthroughs in a multitude of disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, archaeology, and art history.