Contract signed for €152,000 ELI attosecond light source

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French research institute Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée (LOA) has signed a 152,000 contract to design, assemble and test an attosecond light source for the Extreme Light Infrastructure Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) facility currently being built in Hungary.

ELI-ALPS is one of three laser facilities being constructed across Europe. The main objective of the project is to create a unique European research centre, providing the international research community with laser pulses and further sources based on these. The facility in Szeged, Hungary will produce the highest intensity laser pulses in the world, between terahertz (1,012Hz) and X-ray (1,018-1,019Hz) frequency range with high repetition rate.

This project is expected to lead to outstanding results not only in the field of ultrafast physical processes but also in biological, medical and materials sciences.

Professor Károly Osvay, research technology director of ELI-HU Non-Profit Ltd. and Dr Stefan Haessler, Principle Investigator of the R&D project on behalf of LOA, opened the ELI-ALPS’s custom-developed surface high-order-harmonic generation secondary source (SHHG). The source is driven by the ELI-ALPS SYLOS laser system.

According to the contract, LOA will be responsible for the design and commissioning of a secondary light source for the facility’s surface high-order-harmonic generation by March 2018.

Dr Katalin Varjú, head of the Secondary Sources Infrastructure Division for ELI-HU Non-profit, said: ‘The beamline… relies on attosecond pulse generation from dense plasmas created by the intense laser pulse on solid surfaces. This beamline should provide users of the ELI-ALPS facility with intense single attosecond pulses and different auxiliary pulses to perform pump-probe experiments with attosecond time synchronisation.’

Dr Stefan Haessler, principle investigator of the R&D project on behalf of LOA, added: ‘In the last five years, the Laboratoire d'Optique Appliqueé pioneered the technology for plasma-mirror-based attosecond pulse sources at kilohertz repetition rate. These are highly promising, both for the study of laser-plasma interaction in extreme conditions as well as for harnessing second-generation high-power attosecond pulses. The ELI Attosecond project will provide a new class of enabling laser drivers, ideally suited to realise this potential. We are excited to run this R&D project and transfer our technological know-how to the European research endeavour ELI.’

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Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée