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X-ray Free Electron Lasers: A combined Virtual Lab and real-lab experience of European XFEL

This course is open for applications from May 1 – May 31

This course is featured using a Virtual Lab software to bring students close-to-real experience of the large-scale facility at European XFEL. The course will first give an introduction to XFEL with the emphasis on the unique science opportunities offered by XFEL, compared with synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering. It will cover the theories and experimental methods of important techniques based on XFEL, including Time-resolved-X-ray Emission Spectroscopy experiments and Time-resolved Femtosecond X-ray Diffraction experiments. Students will be able to perform experiments and collect data in the Virtual Lab with realistic settings with XFEL. They will analyze the collected data and compare with the published real-world data in the literature.

Since the course will take place at at EuXFEL and DESY in Hamburg, students will visit the European XFEL and tour the experimental beamlines including MID, HED FXE, SPB/SFX, SCS, SQS. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion with beamline scientists. In addition, the on-site tours to synchrotron beamlines will be also organized to visit PETRAIII and FLASH at DESY Hamburg. Besides virtual-lab experiments, exercises, on-site visits, and lectures, students will also learn writing beamtime research proposals and get insight into the peer review process. Since it is a joint course with Hamburg University/EU-XFEL, local students from Hamburg University will participate the course as well. Social activities will be organized to create good opportunities for networking with international students and researchers.

Exam info and full course description

Exam info and full course description can be found in the course catalogue.

Please notice that this course is passed by active participation, and you will not receive a specific grade. Only pass/fail will appear on your transcript.

Admission Requirements

Course specific:

Bachelor degree or similar within natural science, technology, or medicine (e.g. basic courses such as Materials Chemistry I, or Solid State Physics, or Structural Chemistry I, or Physical Chemistry, or Inorganic Chemistry I, or Ultrafast Science, or similar)


Exchange students: nomination from your home university

Freemovers: documentation for English Language proficiency

You can read more about admission here.


Shuai Wei

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)