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The design of a 57Fe Synchrotron Mössbauer Source (SMS) for energy-domain Mössbauer spectroscopy using synchrotron radiation at the Nuclear Resonance beamline (ID18) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility is described. The SMS is based on a nuclear resonant monochromator employing pure nuclear reflections of an iron borate (57FeBO3) crystal. The source provides 57Fe resonant radiation at 14.4 keV within a bandwidth of 15 neV which is tunable in energy over a range of about ±0.6 µeV. In contrast to radioactive sources, the beam of γ-radiation emitted by the SMS is almost fully resonant and fully polarized, has high brilliance and can be focused to a 10 µm × 5 µm spot size. Applications include, among others, the study of very small samples under extreme conditions, for example at ultrahigh pressure or combined high pressure and high temperature, and thin films under ultrahigh vacuum. The small cross section of the beam and its high intensity allow for rapid collection of Mössbauer data. For example, the measuring time of a spectrum for a sample in a diamond anvil cell at ∼100 GPa is around 10 min, whereas such an experiment with a radioactive point source would take more than one week and the data quality would be considerably less. The SMS is optimized for highest intensity and best energy resolution, which is achieved by collimation of the incident synchrotron radiation beam and thus illumination of the high-quality iron borate crystal within a narrow angular range around an optimal position of the rocking curve. The SMS is permanently located in an optics hutch and is operational immediately after moving it into the incident beam. The SMS is an in-line monochromator, i.e. the beam emitted by the SMS is directed almost exactly along the incident synchrotron radiation beam. Thus, the SMS can be easily utilized with all existing sample environments in the experimental hutches of the beamline. Owing to a very strong suppression of electronic scattering for pure nuclear reflections (∼10−9), SMS operation does not required any gating of the prompt electronic scattering. Thus, the SMS can be utilized in any mode of storage ring operation.

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