Laboratório Nacional
de Luz Síncrotron



Shared light


Brazil expects Argentina’s collaboration in the construction of a new synchrotron light source. The Argentineans are the main foreign users of the laboratory.

Brazil expects Argentina’s collaboration in the construction of a new synchrotron radiation source. On January 31, 2011, the Ministers of Science and Technology of the two countries, Aloizio Mercadante and Lino Barañao, met in Buenos Aires to sign a memorandum of understanding for the joint development of projects in the fields of accelerator physics, beamlines and experimental workstations for the new equipment to be installed at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light  Laboratory (LNLS) in Campinas (SP).

According to LNLS, the Argentineans are the main foreign users of the laboratory, which operates the only synchrotron radiation source  in Latin America. and which has been open to researchers from   Brazil and  other countries since 1997 The new third generation light source is expected to increase the  opportunities for investigation in fields such as nanoscience, nanotechnology, molecular and structural biology, advanced materials and alternative energy.

“LNLS has enabled  sectors of Argentina’s scientific community to access equipment that is indispensable to competitive and quality experimental research, for which previously there were limited  alternatives.. Today, this community has grown and there is an ever greater need for this type of instrument,” claims Felix Requejo, principal researcher of the Institute for Physicochemical, Theoretical and Applied Research of Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET).

The memorandum of understanding signed in Buenos Aires foresees the exchange of researchers, joint technological developments and the establishment of a workgroup to coordinate and evaluate the progress of these activities.

The new Brazilian synchrotron radiation  source, called Sirius, is designed  to operate with a power of three billion electron volts (3 GeV), which will enable it to perform at a level equivalent to that of the recent synchrotron radiation  sources, such as the U.K.’s Diamond, France’s Soleil, or the National Synchrotron Light  Source II in the U.S.

According to Antonio José Roque da Silva, director of LNLS, the agreement opens the possibility for Argentina to contribute towards financing the new light source and increases  the prospects of  active participation by other Latin American countries.

In addition to the Argentineans, researchers from Chile, Cuba, Colombia,, Mexico and Uruguai also use LNLS for scientific investigations.

 “With this initiative, Brazil consolidates its position as the leader in Latin American science, facilitating access to advanced research equipment that is not available in those countries,” says Walter Colli, General Director of the Brazilian Association of Synchrotron Light Technology – the  organization that manages LNLS, and of the Brazilian Center for Energy and Materials Research (CNPEM).

Source: Agência FAPESP on 04/02/2011

Impact: Info Exame; Jornal da Ciência; INEST