Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS)

photo credit: Jon Reis

Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is a high-intensity X-ray source supported by the National Science Foundation which provides our users state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation facilities for research in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental and Materials Sciences. A special NIH Research Resource, called MacCHESS, supports special facilities for macromolecular crystallography and BioSAXS.
CHESS is currently undergoing a $15M upgrade that will extend its capabilities for cutting-edge, innovative science and technology. The CHESS-U upgrade will provide the critical leverage to position CHESS as a world leader in synchrotron science. In addition, it will attract the research of more U.S. manufacturers and drive local high-tech businesses.

  • CHESS is currently replacing one-sixth of the storage ring with modern double-bend achromats and replacing / upgrading the x-ray beam lines, taking greatest advantage of the new undulator sources.
  • At the completion of CHESS-U in 2018, CHESS will be the premier synchrotron source in the US for high-energy, high-flux x-ray studies.

Latest News From CHESS


USA, Ithaca (New York)


Energy: 5.3 GeV
Current: 120x120mA
Operational Beamlines: 11
Horizontal emittance: 103.3 nm rad
Vertical emittance: 1.3 nm rad
Call for proposals
CHESS generally operates 140 days per year with three cycles, and all beam time is requested each cycle through our web-based system. A beam time proposal describes the scientific experiments to be performed and identifies the experimental team. A proposal is good for 2 years from the date of acceptance.