Institut Max von Laue - Paul Langevin
General Info

Institut Max von Laue - Paul Langevin

Grenoble France

legal status



remote, physical

The Institut Max von Laue - Paul Langevin (ILL) is an international research centre at the leading edge of neutron science and technology, supporting researchers in a wide range of fields covering condensed matter and nuclear physics, chemistry, biology, materials science and engineering. ILL operates the most intense reactor source in the world, supplying neutrons to a suite of high‐performance instruments that is constantly developed and upgraded. The purpose of the upgrade programmes is to ensure that instrumentation and scientific infrastructure takes full advantage of new technology to offer new research opportunities and address current scientific and societal challenges. Entered in the ESFRI Roadmap in 2006, ILL successfully implemented Millennium upgrade programme (80 M€ over 2000 - 2015) and most recently the Endurance programme (60 M€ over 2016 - 2024) to meet the current and future scientific needs of the research community in Europe and beyond.
Total Investment 200 M€ Design Preparation Implementation Operation 100 M€/year Project Landmark 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2006
as landmark: 2016
Total investment
200 M€
Design Phase
Preparation Phase
Implementation Phase
Operation start
100 M€/year
Fundamental and applied research at ILL across the range of scientific domains addresses major societal challenges for the environment, clean energy, climate change, health, and information and communication. This knowledge-generation and low technology-realisation-level reasearch is the starting point of a long process from science through innovation to market. The scientific infrastructure at ILL is used by more than 100 European companies over a ten-year period in a range of industry sectors for their R&D work, enabling essential new products and processes to reach market. The implementation of the upgrade programmes at ILL increases the performance and competitiveness of the companies specialized in precision mechanics, vacuum and engineering, neutron guides and neutron choppers. Technologies developed by ILL and in partnership with companies are often subsequently used by other national and international facilities and laboratories. The economic impact due to the implantation of the ILL in Grenoble is very important for France and the Auvergne-Rhône‐Alpes region in terms of activity and direct and indirect employment.
The principal service offered by ILL is access to the world's most intense neutron beams and state-of-the-art instrumentation and scientific infrastructure. ILL's service is designed to be comprehensive, accompanying researchers through the full scientific process from ideation to experiment and scientific outcome, usually publication. This entails close collaboration between ILL staff and researchers in the user community, as well as providing additional, dedicated services, for example for sample preparation and characterisation, and data treatment and analysis, including simulation and theory. Access is mainly physical (in-person) but full remote access has been continuously developed, in particular since Covid, and now enables high-quality, remote participation. Access is gained through regular, open application rounds with excellence-based selection adjusted to take into account the financial contributions of stakeholders. Specific services are offered to industry users who can access the ILL in the same way as academic users for pre-competitive research, or avoid the peer review process and open data requirements by paying for proprietary access, which can include consultancy.
S S H D I G I T E N E E N V H & F
As the only operating, European neutron facility, ILL plays a central role and cooperates with all national neutron sources in Europe (mainly) and beyond, as well the ESS (European Spallation Source) currently under construction. This cooperation is now organised through LENS - the League of European neutron Sources - and has been supported for several decades with European funding which has created synergies and leveraged the much larger funding of the RIs themselves. Being co-located with the ESRF and an outstation of the EMBL, there is significant cooperation with these RIs. The cooperation between neutrons and X-rays extends to LEAPS - the League of European Advanced Photon Sources.