The Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, is the largest public research organization in Italy. Its mission is to carry out, promote, spread, transfer and improve research activities in the main sectors of knowledge growth and of its applications for the scientific, technological, economic and social development of the Country. BABE is operated by the Istituto Officina dei Materiali (IOM, of the CNR which is an interdisciplinary research center that combines material synthesis, advanced characterizations, prototypical instrumentation design, calibrations, computational simulations, focusing on the study and development of innovative materials and devices at the micro- and nano-scale.

BABE offers a suite of optical techniques for the characterization and diagnostics of optical elements, devices and related constituent materials in the Visible-SoftX (3 eV-1600 eV/413.3-6.9 nm) photon energy range with linear or circular or elliptical polarization.

Measurable quantities include complex refraction index (complex dielectric constant) and related absorption coefficient and reflectivity of materials, filters/windows/optical elements transmission and reflectivity (including dichroic elements) , particles (electrons, ions, photons) photon yield, surface light scattering and roughness, diffraction gratings efficiency, detectors quantum efficiency and calibration, electronic properties and chemical composition of bulk and ultra-thin surface layers together with local structure around absorbing atoms.

Sample environment and sample handling feature Ultra High Vacuum (UHV), variable temperature treatments (max annealing temperature ~ 1000 °C and minimum sample temperature ~ 100 K), ion-gun bombardment (ion energy  3 keV) for surface cleaning and ion implantation, controlled gas exposure, sample mounting in clean room (1000 class) with glove box insertion in HV load-lock. Sub-millimeter lateral space resolution of spot size at sampled surface can ensured with control of light exposure dose.

Routinely sample weight and dimensions must not exceed 100 g and 30X30X10 mm3, respectively. Special mounting of samples exceeding the indicated weight and dimension limits can be considered; in this case contact with the person in charge of the facility is advisable before proposal submission.

From the point of view of the spectroscopic characterization, BABE provides a number of techniques based on synchrotron radiation in the VIS-softX range which includes Photoemission Spectroscopy (PES), Resonant Photoemission Spectroscopy (ResPES), Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES), PhotoElectron Diffraction (PED), Absorption Spectroscopy (VIS-UV-XAS/NEXAFS/EXAFS) , X-ray (Magnetic) Circular Dichroism (X(M)CD), X-ray (Magnetic) Linear Dichroism (X(M)LD), SXES (Soft X-ray Emission Spectroscopy), Elastic (Reflectivity) and Inelastic Scattering, Fluorescence and Luminescence Spectroscopy.