Diamond offers scientists access to facilities and expertise that enables them to carry out experiments that would be impossible in a normal lab, and the synchrotron provides technology that is highly specialised. Access to Diamond is free at point of access for scientists submitting proposals via Diamond’s competitive Peer Review Process providing that the results are published in the public domain for everyone’s benefit. The primary consideration used by the Peer Review Panels is the quality of the science proposed. Alternatively, scientists from academia or industry may choose to purchase beamtime via the Proprietary Access route should they wish guarantee access or/and keep their results confidential. In 2020 Diamond reached 10,000 peer reviewed papers since it became opertational in 2007.
Diamond currently offers approximately 5000 hours of beamtime per year. The synchrotron is in shutdown for approximately 16 weeks of the year to do essential machine works and to allow for the installation of new beamlines/equipment. For the remainder of the time, the machine runs 24 hours a day, six days a week.
Diamond has a large team of experts including scientists, engineers and technicians who all help to maintain the facility. The Technical Division’s main responsibility is to maintain the facility and it currently consists of over 200 members of staff.
Access to Diamond is free at point of access for scientists submitting proposals via Diamond’s competitive Peer Review Process, providing that the results are published in the public domain for everyone’s benefit. The primary consideration used by the Peer Review Panels is the quality of the science proposed. Alternatively, scientists from academia or industry may choose to purchase beamtime via the Proprietary Access route should they wish guarantee access or/and keep their results confidential.
Peer Review proposals are reviewed by an external body of scientific advisors. The applications that represent the best science are then passed on to Diamond for further review on the grounds of technical feasibility and Health & Safety. Once proposals have been accepted, the users are allocated beamtime, for which there is no charge.
A small percentage (10%) of Diamond’s beamtime is available for industry via the Proprietary Access route, and industrial (or academic) users publishing in the private domain pay a fee for using the facility. The amount that these users pay depends on the amount of set up and experimental time they need, and the amount of technical support required from the scientists at Diamond. For more information on industrial access, please see our Industry pages.
Academics can submit their beamtime application online using the Diamond website. Diamond aims to facilitate the best science possible within the boundaries of technical feasibility and Health & Safety considerations. All applications are submitted to the external peer review panel for decision based on scientific merit; applications are then reviewed by the safety and technical panel. Review panel decisions are passed to the Diamond management team for final approval. Successful applicants are then allocated beamtime.
In addition, proposals from industry for beamtime, where the results will be published in the public domain, will be accepted for consideration by the standard peer review process that is in place for academics.
Companies wishing to apply for proprietary access (where projects and results are confidential and available only to the customer) will be charged a fee for beamtime used and services provided. More information is available on the Industry pages. All applications of interest should be directed to Elizabeth Shotton, Head of Industrial Liaison, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The intellectual property is typically retained by the institution or institutions that fund the researchers. Academic researchers who use Diamond must publish their research in the public domain. The IP on discoveries made by employees of Diamond Light Source is owned by Diamond. Industrial researchers may opt not to publicly release their results, but these researchers must pay to use Diamond.
The users prepare for their experiments either at their own institutions and/or in the dedicated laboratories that have been constructed around the synchrotron building. These are helpfully located close to the relevant beamlines to aid speed and accuracy for experiments.
Diamond has onsite accommodation for users, providing a place to rest for those working overnight or for longer periods. Ridgeway House Hotel offers 180 comfortable rooms, within easy walking distance of the synchrotron building.
Yes. Diamond supports the best science regardless of where it’s from and we accept research proposals from both UK and international researchers. All proposals are judged by an external scientific advisory panel on their scientific merit so that Diamond can facilitate the best science possible. Please contact the User Office for more details.
Diamond is now operates 32 beamlines and 11 electron microscopes. Of the electron microscopes, nine are cryo-electron microscopes specialising in life sciences and make up eBIC (electron Bio-Imaging Centre), with two provided for industry use in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific. The two remaining microscopes dedicated to advanced materials research are supplied by Johnson Matthey and the University of Oxford. These microscopes form ePSIC (electron Physical Science Imaging Centre) and are operated under strategic collaboration agreements to provide for substantial dedicated peer reviewed user access. Both eBIC and ePSIC are next to the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe beamline (I14).
Along with eBIC and ePSIC, the UK X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) Hub, the Membrane Protein Laboratory and the XChem facility make up the complimentary integrated facilities available at Diamond.
For academic research, Diamond instruments (beamlines and microscopes) are free at the point of access through peer review. For proprietary research, access can be secured through Diamond’s industry team.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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