The idea to establish a Russian-German Laboratory at BESSY II, consisting of a beamline and an experimental station, came up in 1994 as the result of the long-standing co-operation between scientists from the physics departments of the Freie Universität Berlin (Prof. G. Kaindl) and Saint Petersburg
State University (Prof. V. K. Adamchuk). A scientific case of the installation was worked out in cooperation with specialists of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Prof. W. Gudat) on the basis of research proposals for tentative experiments collected from more than 40 Russian scientific groups and institutions. Cities of these groups are listed below and their locations are shown on the map of the Russian Federation.
Further discussion and evaluation of the proposal, which took place at the Russian-German Workshops (1995 in Berlin, 1997 in Saint Petersburg), resulted in a conclusion that the experimental equipment should include a high resolution bending-magnet beamline (resolving power up to 25000) operating in the photon-energy range from about 30 to 1500 eV as well as a spectrometer dedicated to photoemission and photoabsorption studies of solids and gases.
The actual construction of a plane-grating-monochromator beamline for the XUV/soft-x-ray region began in 1997, with the Freie Universität Berlin in overall charge. The start of the project was made possible by a substantial donation from the "Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin" to the Freie Universität Berlin as well as detailed design studies performed by scientists from Saint Petersburg State University in collaboration with staff members of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, which were financially supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. Shortly after, the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation agreed also to finance some essential parts of the beamline, which were manufactured by a company in Saint Petersburg.
In October 2001 the installation of the beamline was completed and first photoionization spectra of various gases were measured in order to characterize the performance. The official inauguration of the Russian-German Laboratory at BESSY II was celebrated on November 20, 2001, during the "3rd Russian-German Workshop on Synchrotron Radiation Research" (Berlin, November 18-20, 2001). The implementation of an experimental station provided by the Technische Universität Dresden was achieved in January 2002.
There is an intention of a further development of the Russian-German Laboratory by implementing of a second beamline with an experimental station for the hard-x-ray region.