The spallation process at ESS will take place when the accelerated proton beam hits the tungsten bricks of the 4.9-tonne target wheel, producing unprecedented neutron brightness for scientific experiments across multiple disciplines.

The design of target system components has a direct impact on the number of neutrons that can be generated, and is therefore of utmost importance for the future scientific capabilities of the ESS facility.

The first step in this process is production of high-energy neutrons through a spallation process involving proton beam interaction with a tungsten target. The fast, high-energy neutrons released during the spallation process at ESS will be slowed down to suitable energies for experiments, and then delivered to the instruments through beam ports. Key features of the Target Station are the target itself, the neutron moderator and reflector system, and the neutron beam extraction system.

Tungsten bricks stacked in a cassette for the ESS target wheel prototype at ESS Bilbao.


The Target Division is part of the ESS Machine Directorate, with the responsibility to design, develop, procure, install, commission and test the systems needed to convert the energetic proton beam coming from the ESS accelerator to neutron beams that are utilised for experiments.

All Target Station systems require electrical and instrumentation design and development in order to meet power, grounding, cable routing, monitoring, and controls requirements.

At ESS, the Conventional Facilities (CF) Division is responsible for the civil design and construction of the facility, and the Integrated Control System (ICS) Division is responsible for the design, development and implementation of the monitoring and controls systems for the facility, including equipment protection and personnel safety systems.

Collaboration between the Target, CF, and ICS Divisions is an essential component in the successful completion of the Target Station.

moderator weld

Butterfly Moderator Manufacturing Completed at Jülich

The ESS Target Division has announced that manufacturing of all three Butterfly V2 cold moderators was completed in December.

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ess bilbao Target Wheel Prototype

Machine Systems Advance at Bilbao as Spain Makes a Move Toward Full ERIC Membership

The Spanish government has moved forward in its process to become a full member of the European Spallation Source ERIC. The agreement allows ESS Bilbao’s critical contributions to the Accelerator and Target systems to advance.

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Novel Technology Advances as Budapest Neutron Centre Leads Optimisation of ESS Moderator

Hungary's BNC-Wigner is building a prototype of the ESS moderator test beamline.

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Physics Underlying ESS 2015 Moderator Design Tested at J-PARC

Tests conducted at the J-PARC spallation source in Japan preliminarily validated the physics behind the innovative ESS “flat” moderator.

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Building the Heart of ESS in Spain

Spain was one of the first countries to commit to the construction of the European Spallation Source.

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21 In-Kind Work Packages from seven Institutes in six countries

Mark Anthony

ESS Project Manager


Rikard Linander

Head of Target Division


Carina Blixt

Administrative Assistant


Linda Coney

Group Leader Target Control and Safety


Günter Muhrer

Group Leader for ESS Spallation Physics


Yong Joong Lee

Senior Scientist


Luca Zanini

Senior Scientist


Håkan Carlsson

Group Leader Fluid Systems


Magnus Göhran

Group Leader Monolith & Handling