The SOLARIS synchrotron is the most modern and largest multidisciplinary research tool in Poland. Moreover, its outstanding capabilities place it firmly at the cutting edge of devices of this type in the world. It was created as a result of unprecedented collaboration between the National Synchrotron Radiation Centre and the MAX IV Laboratory, a research centre active at the University of Lund in Sweden. Thus SOLARIS is a replica of one of the two synchrotrons in Lund. Its storage ring consists of 12 identical Double-Bend Achromat (DBA) cells. The typical DBA cell contains two bending magnets flanked with strong focusing quadrupoles and sextupoles. In order to reduce the number of magnets, a few magnet functions have been combined and integrated in one solid iron block within a cell. This innovative technology makes it possible to obtain a very low emittance electron beam circulating in the machine of a relatively small size.

The National Centre for Synchrotron Radiation functions under the auspices of Jagiellonian University. It is located on the Third Campus, in the southern part of Kraków. The Centre was built between 2010 and 2015. The investment was co-financed by the European Union with funds from the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the Innovative Economy Operational Programme for 2007-2013.

The SOLARIS synchrotron will begin operations with two beamlines (for photoemission electron microscopy/X-ray absorption spectroscopy and for ultra-angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy). Ultimately however, the experimental hall of the Krakow accelerator will house several dozens of these lines. In total, they will be fitted with about twenty experimental end-stations. Research will be carried out round the clock, seven days a week, simultaneously at all the stations.