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World-leading research facilities

Lund is home to the two largest research facilities in Sweden: The MAX IV Laboratory, and the European Spallation Source (ESS). They reflect the strength and attractiveness of research at Lund University.

A view of what MAX IV and ESS will look like
Conceptual design of MAX IV and ESS. Image by Team Henning Larsen Architects.

MAX IV Laboratory

MAX IV Laboratory is a national electron accelerator laboratory for synchrotron radiation research which was inaugurated on 21 June 2016, in the presence of the Swedish King, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf and the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven. 

The MAX IV facility is the largest and most ambitious Swedish investment in research infrastructure and the brightest source of x-rays worldwide. It will receive more than 2 000 scientists annually from Sweden and the rest of the world.

Research takes place in areas such as materials science, structural biology, chemistry and nanotechnology.

MAX IV Laboratory is located in Lund, Sweden, and hosted by Lund University. Funders include the Swedish Research Council, VINNOVA, Lund University, Region Skåne and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

European Spallation Source

In an area of two square kilometres in north-west Lund, the European Spallation Source (ESS), a unique facility for materials research, is being built. The ESS will be a multidisciplinary scientific research centre harnessing the world’s most powerful neutron source. Researchers will be able to study the materials of everyday life, from plastics and proteins to medicines and molecules, in order to understand how they are built up and how they work. 

The facility can be likened to a giant microscope, where neutrons are fired at different types of material so that they can be analysed in detail. ESS will be responsible for future research breakthroughs in medicine, environmental science, climate, communication and transport.

Despite competition from British, Spanish, Hungarian and German rivals, Lund was given the honour of building the facility, which is being co-financed by a number of countries in the EU who will all benefit from it. 

Along with the recently inaugurated MAX IV facility, ESS will form a hub in the European research infrastructure. The facility is planned to be fully operational in 2027, with the ESS user programme already set to open in 2023.

European Spallation Source (ESS) –

LINXS (Lund Institute of Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science)

Swedish LINXS is an institute which promotes science and education focusing on the use of neutrons and x-rays in research and development.

The institute is dedicated to becoming a nucleus for national and international scientific activities and a think-tank which initiates new ideas and research themes.

LINXS relies on a stream of highly motivated world-leading scientists who are invited for short-term focused topical research visits. The researchers share their knowledge and expertise with LINXS, which helps create a strong and innovative research environment.

LINXS goals are to:

  • Attract world leading scientists for short-term focused research visits.
  • Invigorate the dialogue between academia and society in all aspects of neutron and x-rays large scale research facilities.
  • Create international networks and enhance the visibility of Sweden internationally in this area of neutrons and x-rays.


Key numbers

MAX IV Laboratory

  • Cost: Approximately SEK 6 billion
  • Ground broken: 22 November 2010
  • Inaugurated: 21 June 2016
  • Currently around 300 people work at MAX IV Laboratory


  • Cost: approximately EUR 1.84 billion
  • Construction start: 2014
  • Opens for research: 2023
  • Number of employees when fully operational: around 450
  • Estimated number of researcher visits: 3 000/year
  • Expected duration of operation: 40 years
  • Annual operational cost: EUR 140 million