Laser light in the deep infrared

Free-electron lasers (FEL) are large and expensive, but they can deliver unique light for research and applications. On August 21, 2006, at the Forschungszentrum Rossendorf (FZR) in Dresden, Germany, the second undulator of the free-electron laser facility went into operation, producing light up to the hard-to-access range of the deep "far" infrared. An undulator is the heart of a free-electron laser, because it transforms the energy of fast electrons into intense laser light through a special arrangement of magnets.

The Dresden FEL now covers the wavelength range, invisible to humans, from 3 to 150 micrometers. The asset of every free-electron laser is its tunability, i.e., the wavelength or the "color" of the light can be adjusted at will over a large range. Scientists at FZR have a particular interest in this far-infrared light, which is located between the ranges of microwaves and the infrared and is often called Terahertz (THz) radiation. The generation and application of this radiation has become a very hot topic recently, with many researchers worldwide active in this field. While many practical applications will eventually require compact and cheap sources, basic research needs also intense sources - and to date there are virtually no other intense THz sources available apart from free-electron lasers. At FZR, THz radiation is used in particular to study the dynamical behavior of electrons in semiconductor nanostructures. Such knowledge is important for the development of ever faster electronic devices, and thus, computers. The FEL at the Forschungszentrum Rossendorf is supported by the European Union (EU) as a user facility under the name FELBE.

Free-Electron-Laser Conference (FEL 2006), August 27 - September 1, 2006

200 experts from all over the world will have the chance to visit the new light source at FZR on August 30. They are participants of the FEL2006 Conference, taking place in Berlin from August 27 to September 1. This 28th international FEL conference is jointly organized by BESSY, the organization who runs the well-known synchrotron source south of Berlin, and FZR.

BESSY will build up a free-electron laser for the soft X-ray region, and FZR has already been operating its FEL for two years with its first undulator. For this reason these two facilities were chosen to organize this year�s conference with more than 300 participants, mainly from the USA, Europe, Japan, and China. The agenda comprises talks covering scientific and technical, as well as application and user aspects of free-electron lasers. Expert�s interests are also strongly attracted by large and challenging projects such as the XFEL at DESY in Hamburg.

On August 30, 200 participants will visit the FEL at the Forschungszentrum Rossendorf in Dresden. Interested representatives of the media are also welcomed to participate in the guided tour starting at 11 a.m. in the Forschungszentrum Rossendorf. Please give notice to Ms. Annette Weissig either by phone at +49 351 260-3688 or by e-mail.

Further Information:
Dr. Peter Michel
Head of the Instrumentation Division Radiation Source ELBE

Phone: +49 351 260 - 3259

Pressemitteilung vom 22.08.2006, FEL-II geht in Betrieb
The second FEL at FZR


The magnetic structure of one of the FZR undulator

Contact for the media:
Dr. Christine Bohnet
Phone: +49 351 260 2450 or 49 160 969 288 56
Fax: +49 351 260 2700