Research at MBI requires interdisciplinarity in the scientific staff, flexibility in the definition and organisation of scientific projects, and a longer term scientific infrastructure. MBI has chosen to concentrate some of its main experimental re-sources in the application laboratories, providing flexible, versatile and cost-effective access to expensive, state-of-the-art equipment for internal researchers. In addition, the application laboratories are particularly suited for MBI’s various access activities and collaboration offers extended to external partners from science and industry.
The scientific infrastructure generally consists of short pulse and high-field laser systems with their experimental periphery; their development and upgrade is subject of one infrastructure project, while the activities focusing on access and service are the subject of another. The available laser systems may be classified as
- short pulse sources, covering the spectral range from FIR to X-rays with pulse durations down to a few femtoseconds
- ultra-high intensity lasers
- special laser systems for applications
The application laboratories concentrate most of these laser systems in dedi-cated building space; they are among the backbones of the scientific infrastructure. They also provide a platform for efficient feedback between the laser research projects in research focus 1 and the scientific applications in research foci 2 and 3.
The Scientific Infrastructure at MBI is organized in two 'projects':
4.1 Implementation of Lasers and Measuring Techniques
The MBI considers the development and operation of a new generation of diode pumped solid-state lasers a key strategic demand. Such lasers have already opened new possibilities for multi-kHz femtosecond systems design with high average and high peak powers, suitable, e.g., as drivers for non coherent X-ray production and high harmonics generation. Also special applications at synchrotron radiation facilities (e.g. BESSY in Berlin) such as femtosecond beam-slicing for short pulse hard X-ray generation will strongly benefit from this development.
Another important application will be in material processing with femtosecond pulses where up to now repetition rate and average power were limiting factors for broader applications. The MBI will proceed to develop and operate such lasers and plans to implement a number of appropriate systems, e.g., for the generation of ultra-short X-ray pulses.
A long-term objective lies in the development of picosecond lasers at very high average power, both in the burst-mode and the quasi-cw operation mode. In particular, we will focus on implementation of techniques to shape ps pulses with high stability according to the demands of the accelerator and FEL community.
4.2 Application Laboratories and Technology Transfer
In the two laser application laboratories (fs laser application laboratory and high field laser application laboratory) the MBI concentrates its specific experimental resources, providing a flexible, versatile and cost-effective use of expensive equipment by internal researchers as well as by external partners from science and industry. The MBI has been very successful in this visitor programme, as has been certified by independent user surveys conducted by the EU to monitor the quality of their funded projects, and by periodic Mid Term Reviews. Special laser development, reacting to demands from internal and external users, complements the scientific infrastructure activities which form an essential basis of the scientific research at the MBI (see also Laserlab-Europe).