Hamburg invests EUR 2.85 million in DESY’s PETRA IV project

PETRA IV to become world’s top 3D X-ray microscope for nano research
05 February 2021

The City of Hamburg has earmarked EUR 2.85 million in funds for DESY's plans to boost and expand its brilliant electron storage ring PETRA III into the ultimate 3D X-ray microscope PETRA IV over the next two years, a press release said Monday (January 25, 2021). The plans foresee building an accelerator with cutting-edge technology into the existing 2.3-kilometre-long PETRA ring tunnel. Prof. Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors, remarked: “With PETRA IV, DESY is creating a completely new tool in basic research and for innovations in the fields of new materials, health, environment and sustainable energy concepts. The funding for the important TDR phase helps us to develop the new technologies that are indispensable for this and thus to create a robust design for this revolutionary large-scale project.”

Flagship of Science City

Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality, commented: “Hamburg can be pleased and proud: PETRA IV will offer unique research opportunities worldwide and has the potential to become the scientific flagship of Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld. The senate therefore supports the development of the state-of-the-art technologies for the accelerator facility and thus ensures that Hamburg can continue to develop into a world-class science and research metropolis.” This large-scale project would transform Petra VI  into the scientific flagship of Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld.

Helmholtz-Research Centre DESY

The Technical Design Report (TDR) for PETRA IV, which is due by late 2022, is a milestone for implementing the overall project. It contains the technical construction plans of the accelerator, the X-ray beamlines and the surrounding infrastructure. It also outlines construction measures and their sequence with reliable information on the expected costs of the projects. The TDR is the basis for the application for funding of the overall project.


The Deutsche Elektronen-Synchroton (DESY), a research centre of the Helmholtz Association, is one of the world's leading accelerator centres and conducts research into the structure and function of matter - from the interplay of the smallest elementary particles, the behaviour of novel nanomaterials and vital biomolecules to the great mysteries of the universe. The particle accelerators and the detection instruments that DESY develops and builds at its sites in Hamburg and Zeuthen are unique research tools. DESY is funded to 90 per cent by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and 10 per cent by the states of Hamburg and Brandenburg.