4-22 High intensity laser application laboratory
Project coordinator: M. Schnürer, G. Priebe

The MBI high-field laser application laboratory (HFL) develops, applies and provides femto- and picosecond laser systems operating in a broad intensity range up to 1019W/cm2 and beyond, complemented by short-pulse, high-average-power lasers for special applications. Apart from the research towards highest possible intensities at ultra-high pulse contrast, part of the activities is focussed on diagnostics development for the on-line characterisation of the laser parameters.

The HFL is located in a separate building with restricted access due to radiation safety and cleanliness considerations. Its structure and equipment allows to perform laser-matter interaction experiments such as single atom ionisation as well as complex laser-plasma interaction studies. The latter include acceleration of charged particles, with focussing on protons ,highly charged ions, electrons and their applications. Electron acceleration - a new topic in our research activities - starts in 2012. A necessary prerequisite for particle acceleration experiemnts accompanied with secondary radition emission was the completion of a new lab with shielding enclosure in 2010 (cf. 100 TW laser). Beamline, interaction chamber setup and first experiments started in 2011. A diversity of diagnostic equipment with high energetic (spectral), spatial and temporal resolution, consisting of CCD cameras, x-ray and EUV-spectrometers, and Thomson spectrometers is available.

According to the general mission of the MBI these facilities are not only used for the in-house research (mainly projects 1-02, 2-01, 2-02 and 3-04), but also offered to external users who are interested in research collaborations with MBI groups. A broad field of disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies is addressed, ranging from atomic, laser and plasma physics to material science, metrology up to industrial relevant applications. The laboratory is also open to external users within the Transnational Access Activity of the 7th Framework Programme of the EU (Integrated Laser Infrastructure Network LASERLAB-EUROPE). The following systems are in operation:

  • Two high-peak power lasers, capable of delivering intensities above 1019 W/cm2 , in particular, a 10 Hz CPA 40 TW (35 fs, 1.4 J) Ti:Sapphire laser and a second 100 TW Ti: Sapphire amplifier arm for unique pump-probe experiments in laser-based plasma physics has been installed in 2010(cf projects 1.02 and 2.1). Both systems are optically synchronized with a newly developed XPW frontend (cf. 1-02).

The following supporting systems and infrastructure are available in the high field laser application laboratory:

  • SPIDER for measurement of of the Ti:Sapphire laser pulse duration
  • adaptive mirror- feedback with wavefront controlling Hartmann sensor, that resulted in a improvement of the focus intensity, leading to intensities above 1019W/cm2
  • different beamlines for particle acceleration, X/EUV - generation, ionization studies, new setups will be realized in 2011and continued in 2012
  • a new lab with shielding enclosure for experiments with high energy particles and/or high dose of secondary radiation
  • 3rd order correlator for the Ti:Sapphire laser with high dynamics range

Furthermore the HFL-laboratory is equipped with a variety of commercial diagnostics enabling measurements with high spectral, spatial and temporal resolution.