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Multi Analyses on Radioactive Samples : MARS
Characterizing radioactive samples for environmental, health and energy applications

MARS beamline is aiming to extend the research capabilities on radioactive matter (α, ß, γ and n emitters) towards the use of synchrotron radiation in multidisciplinary fields (biology, chemistry, physics) with respect to national and European safety laws.

Station CX2: High Resolution XRD

Station CX2: High Resolution XRD
This station is proposed for High Resolution X-ray Diffraction characterisations on powder samples.

This beamline is listed under authorization from ASN (French Authority for Nuclear Security). Because of its special characteristics the total equivalent activities present at the same time including the storage on the beamline can be up to 185 GBq with a maximum of 18.5 GBq (0.5 Ci) per sample.

The design of MARS beamline (infrastructure and optics) is also optimized to alternatively run two experimental stations in order to perform characterizations with transmission and high resolution X-ray powder-diffraction (XRD), Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS), Small Angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), standard and high resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES, EXAFS and HERFD-XANES) and microbeam techniques (microXRF, XAS, XRD).

Current status  (2021):

Currently, the following configurations are operational:

  1. Transmission XRD mode with 2D image plate detector;
  2. Standard XAS mode in transmission or in fluorescence with solid state detector (different options available);
  3. HERFD-XANES mode with our crystal analyser spectrometer (R=1m or R= 0.5m);
  4. Microbeam XRF, XAS and XRD mode;
  5. High Resolution XRD mode on dedicated diffractometer.


SOLARI Pier-Lorenzo
Beamline Manager
HUNAULT Myrtille
Beamline Scientist
Beamline Scientist
BRETON William
Beamline Engineer Assistant
BURROW Timothy-Graham
FONT Gaspard
Schlutig Sandrine
Beamline scientist 2008-2016
D. Conradson Steven
Beamline responsible 2014-2015
Bès René
Post-doctoral researcher from CEA 2013-2015
Cammelli Sebastiano
Post-doctoral researcher 2013-2015
Sitaud Bruno
Beamline responsible 2004-2013
Souilah Marc
Post-doctoral researcher /Beamline Scientist 2009-2010 /2012-2013
Llorens Isabelle
Post-doctoral researcher 2010-2012
Savet Jean-Christophe
Engineering student 2005-2006


Click here to access to the SOLEIL employment web page

Technical data

Energy range

Between 3.5 to 36 keV (3.5 to 21 keV for focused beam)

Energy Resolution

ΔE/E < 3. 10-4


Bending Magnet, maximum horizontal acceptance 3 mrad


Two long mirrors and one monochromator (DCM, with Si111 from 3.5 to 12keV and Si220 from 10 to 36keV)

Sample Environment

 MARS beamline offers various sample environments, which have already been validated by the radioprotection safety of SOLEIL. We invite you to contact us to determine what is the best for your needs.

Non-exhaustive list of options available:

  • Double-barrier confinements for ambient T and P measurements
  • Cryostats (liquid nitrogen or liquid helium) and corresponding sample holders
  • Electrochemical cell
  • Glove box (for second confinement change)
  • Shielding of the end-stations for highly irradiating samples
Beam size on sample

The incident beam can be focused down to 250x150 µm2 (HxV) or 15x15 µm2 with additional K.B. optics  (FWHM).

Flux on sample

About 1.10+12 Phot/s @ 10 keV (beam current 500 mA)

  • 2D detectors: imageplate (MAR345), Pilatus CdTe
  • Solid state detectors: multi-element Ge (ORTEC), silicon drift (Ketek), and other options available
  • 4-crystal analyzer spectrometer with R-0.5m or 1-crystal analyzer spectrometer with R=1m.

Scientific Opportunities


  • Geological processes,
  • Environmental issues,
  • Waste management,
  • Recycling processes,
  • Behaviours of nuclear fuels and irradiated materials,
  • Basic physico-chemistry properties of actinides and fission products … 


  • Experimental end stations:   
  • Since 2019, radioactive samples  with activities up to 2.106 times the French exemption limit for certain radionuclides are allowed on the beamline (only for measurements at ambient temperature and pressure). 
    The detailled list of radionuclides and maximum activity accepted is attached here: PDF icon Liste Radionucléides autorisés en catégorie F0. (35.5 KB)
  • Safety rules and proceedures to bring samples at SOLEIL can be found here: (visit the safety requirement page here),