Collaborative Research Group instruments

The ILL provides a framework in which Collaborating Research Groups (CRGs) can build and manage instruments on ILL beamlines to carry out their own research programmes. CRGs represent a particularly successful form of long-term international scientific collaboration.

CRGs are composed of scientists from one or two research disciplines, and often multinational, carrying out a joint research programme centred around a specific instrument. CRGs build and manage their own private instruments on ILL beamlines to carry out their own research programmes. They enjoy exclusive access to these instruments for at least half of the beamtime available.

The CRGs provide their own scientific and technical support and cover the general operating costs of these instruments. If there is demand from the user community and the resources are available, the beamtime reserved for ILL can be made accessible to users via the subcommittees. 

There are currently three different categories of CRG instrument.

  • CRG-A category: the external group leases an instrument owned by ILL. They have access to 50% of the beamtime; for the remaining 50% the instrument is made available for the ILL's scientific user programme.
  • CRG-B category: the external group owns its instrument and retains 70% of the available beamtime, supporting the ILL programme for the other 30%.
  • CRG-C category: the instrument is used full time for specific research programmes by the external group, which has exclusive use of the beam.

Eight CRGs are currently in operation

Intrument nameInstrument typePartners CRGType


Powder diffractometerCNRS Grenoble/CSIC SpainA


2-axis diffractometerCEA Grenoble/ FZ JülichB


3-axis spectrometerFZ Jülich/CEAB


Backscattering spectrometerUJF Grenoble/CNR-Italy/CNRS/CEAA


3-axis spectrometerCEA Grenoble/ FZ JülichB


InterferometerAtominstitut, ViennaC


SpectrometerLaboratoire Léon Brillouin (UMR 12 CEA/CNRS), SaclayA


ReflectometerUniversity of Uppsala