World-class scientific research
President Ing-Wen Tsai (蔡英文) visited National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center in Hsinchu and inaugurated the newly completed experimental facilities at the Taiwan Photon Source (TPS), accompanied by Minister Hung-Duen Yang (楊弘敦) of Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Mayor Chih-Chien Lin (林智堅) of Hsinchu City on September 19, 2016. Taiwan Photon Source is the first new large-scale national science facility in operation under President Tsai’s administration. It will help to gather distinguished scientists and makes NSRRC a world-class scientific research center. President Tsai expects that more scientists can use the synchrotron light facility to explore the scientific world and gain a better chance to win the Nobel Price in a near future.
Realization of the TPS is a successful integration of advanced technologies in Taiwan
The NSRRC submitted feasibility study report of constructing the TPS in 2005, and the report was approved by the Executive Yuan in 2007. Later, construction began in 2010, and first light was successfully delivered during the course of commission in the end of 2014. During nearly 5 years of civil construction, accelerator design and manufacturing, and beamline development, NSRRC encountered and overcome numerous challenges and difficulties. These phase-I beamlines, equipped with state-of-the-art devices and innovative techniques, are finally prepared for industrial, official and academic users to conduct their research.
President Tsai pointed out that the construction of the Taiwan Photon Source is a combination of advanced accelerator technology, precision mechanical engineering, automatic control systems, and high-accuracy measurement. Many domestic manufacturers were not only willing to accept such challenge but also improved their manufacturing techniques while constructing this light source which demanded superb technologies, high efficient coordination, and versatile managements operated by a team of master minds. All these efforts have made TPS come to realization. The successful construction of TPS itself is already an embodiment of excellent integration of domestic technologies. From this day onwards, more scientific miracles are foreseeable in Taiwan.
A new light revolution is happening
As there are always untouchable myths in science, TPS has the potential to unveil these secrets. Characterized by super brightness and high coherence, a trillion times brighter than that produced by traditional X-ray machines at essential wavelengths, the X-rays of the TPS are excellent measuring tools for advanced research of dimensional structures in nano-scale. Combining such a good tool with the creative brains of scientists, new technologies can be sparked and created at the TPS.
TPS will be useful in fields as diverse as drug discovery, green technology, materials engineering, etc. Biotechnological companies can use it to analyze the molecular structures of viruses and diseases so as to unveil the virus infection mechanism, and accordingly design effective targeted cancer drugs or develop vaccines with the high specificity. It can also be applied in green energy to create and improve novel energy and energy-saving materials such as li-ion batteries, fuel cells and solar cells. Advanced manufacturing process in semiconductor industries can be enhanced by analyzing the materials and structures of chips using synchrotron light at the NSRRC. Other applications also include consumer electronics, Internet of Things, hazardous elements in food, as well as the explorations interstellar molecules.
The combination of fundamental science with emerging industries is about to boosting economic growth
President Tsai also mentioned that the TPS will open doors to new opportunities for advanced research in green energy, biomedicine and intelligent machinery, which are among the five major innovative industries the government is prioritizing plans to promote. It will provide brand-new techniques for frontier scientific research, which will further improve the product development and optimize manufacturing process for industries.
At the end of the ceremony, President Tsai expected that the phase-II and phase-III beamlines can be completed soon. When the TPS is equipped with all planned beamlines, it will achieve the greatest value of the official investment on it. Not only the foundation of fundamental technologies can be established, but also the manufacturing techniques in industries can be improved. It will truly enhance the scientific research and international prestige of Taiwan in the near future.