Jump to top menu Jump to main menu Jump to content
Research project  |  a 'table-top synchrotron' for diagnosis


Status: Ongoing project

Research project Smart*Light aims to develop a compact and bright X-ray source with tunable X-ray energy

What we do

About our project

Synchrotron facilities

X-ray technology is used in a multitude of industrial, academic and medical applications, ranging from pipeline inspection to the investigation of historical paintings. This is typically done with conventional X-ray sources, which however have limited intensity and tunability. More advanced applications, such as the development of high-tech materials and of new pharmaceuticals, require high-intensity radiation with high coherence and tunable photon energy. Currently, such radiation can only be generated in synchrotrons - large accelerator facilities. All existing synchrotrons are located outside the Benelux region, while the high demand for beamtime puts severe restrictions on availability.

Inverse Compton Scattering

Using new accelerator technology, a compact and highly flexible setup will be built, in which accelerated electrons convert laser light into an intense and coherent X-ray beam through the physical process of Inverse Compton Scattering.


Although the specifications of the novel X-ray source, dubbed Smart*Light, will not be equal to those of the current synchrotron facilities, the compact design and high degree of flexibility will make it highly complementary. As such, users will be less dependent on the limited beamtime at synchrotron facilities. This will allow for complex measurement configurations and long-term experiments.

Our research focus


The Smart*Light X-ray source can expectedly be applied in for example state-of-the art materials science research and for the investigation of important artworks.

Medical diagnostics

On the longer term, Smart*Light offers potential for medical imaging in hospitals. Our research focuses on the demonstration of this potential.

Funds & Grants

A consortium of 12 partners in the Netherlands and Flanders has received 2.85 M€ of EFRO (European Regional Development Fund) funding from Interreg.



See the Smart*Light website at the TU Delft.

Our team