About Star


The Southern Europe Thomson Backscattering Source for Applied Research (STAR) is a compact hard X-ray source designed by INFN for advanced applied materials-science research.
The project is funded by Progetto MaTeRiA PONa3_00370.
The machine has been installed at the University of Calabria, in the “Polo Tecnologico – Edificio STAR” building (STAR complex building).

Emitted from a 10 µm source, the X-rays are tunable in the 10 – 200 keV range, monochromatic and collimated. STAR has been designed for maximum adaptability so to be easily upgraded in terms of energy range (towards the MeV), photon flux, beam divergence and the ability to accommodate multiple simultaneously running beamlines. Compared to standard synchrotron radiation facilities, STAR offers a complementary source with high X-ray energy but at lower running costs. STAR X-rays support BEAMLINES which are custom-designed to meet specific investigation methodologies and purposes. Currently, STAR has been coupled with an innovative µTomo BEAMLINE which has been designed for microtomography.


The unique fine-point source dimension, monochromatic and tunable energy and high penetration power of STAR X-rays have been exploited in collaboration with ELETTRA - Sincrotrone Trieste SCpA to develop the µTomo BEAMLINE.

The µTomo beamline will allow:

Phase Contrast Tomography (PCT) which enhances image contrast by emphasizing microscopic details of differing refractive indices found within samples that otherwise appear uniform. This application of µTomo on soft matter and biological samples will be extended to materials-science research on novel materials.

Microtomography and holotomography mapping of high Z elements within in-operando devices. Chemically resolved radiography which exploits X-ray tunability to perform efficient quantitative analysis and mapping.


The STAR photo-injector is a 60MeV, linear accelerator (linac) aimed to produce low emittance, high peak current, high brilliance electron bunches, to generate X-ray beams with Thomson scattering process.
The electron beam, generated by an electron RF gun, is accelerated to 60 MeV with an S-band (2856 MHz) accelerating section powered by a power station consisting of a high peak power microwave source (klystron) and its high voltage pulsed modulator.


STAR control system is structured in three tiers:

- User interface: Graphical and non-graphical user interfaces that will be used in the control room.
- Central services: Dedicated server(s) will be used for computer services that need to run continuously irrespective of user’s activities, e.g. for archiving of process variables’ values, monitoring of alarm states, slow feedback loops and management of activities that require coordination of several subsystems.
- Equipment interfaces: This tier is used for interaction with equipment and devices. It provides an abstract representation of equipment to higher layers through which the equipment can be monitored and controlled.