Laser Particle Acceleration / Institute for Radiation Physics
The experimental and theoretical investigation of the interaction of light with matter in the relativistic intensity regime represents the key activity of the group. The focus lies on the development of advanced compact and brilliant sources of energetic particle beams and on potential applications, e.g., in the field of radiation oncology. In connection with the radiation source ELBE accelerator physics as well as the realization of optical undulators provides challenging goals.
For this purpose the division operates within the frame of the ELBE center for high power radiation sources the dual beam 150 Terawatt / Petawatt Ti:Sapphire laser Draco (Dresden laser acceleration source). Its only 30 fs long pulses can be individually guided into two separate experimental areas where they are used either alone, combined, or in combination with the electron pulses of the radiation source ELBE. To be able to make use of of highest laser power and energy simultaneously in the future, we further push the development of the directly diode laser pumped PW laser Penelope (Petawatt energy efficient laser for optical plasma experiments).
Due to their interdisciplinary character, these tasks are organized within the research fields Health (cancer research) and Matter (matter and technologies, from matter to materials and life) of the Helmholtz association. External users can presently access the high power laser infrastructure through collaborative projects.
Laser Ion Acceleration
Intense and tightly focused laser pulses of the DRACO laser transform targets of solid material into hot plasma where at its surface
protons and ions experience acceleration to kinetic energies in the muti 10 MeV range. Our objective is to develop this idea into
compact alternative particle sources for the application in cancer therapy.
Laser-electron acceleration and radiation sources
Accelerating fields exceeding hundreds of GV/m can be generated during the interaction of relativistic laser pulses with transparent plasmas, stimulating the development of compact accelerators of ultimate peak current beams and advanced radiation sources. Emphasis lies on improved understanding and advancing the field to user-readiness.
High power laser DRACO
The continuously improved ultrashort pulse high power laser DRACO offers beam parameters tailored for laser
particle acceleration and dedicated diagnostics. The dual beam 150 TW / Petawatt system can be used in two
independent target areas.
Diode-pumped PW laser PENELOPE
Penelope stands for the development of energy efficient high power lasers, where diode laser pumping technology enables
Petawatt peak power at high pulse energy and repetition rate simultaeously. The system will be optimized for laser-ion
Computational Radiation Physics
We model, simulate and visualise the dynamics of particles and radiation phenomena that are of interest when investigating the physics of laser particle acceleration and develop massively parallel computing schemes.
Application-oriented laser-plasma accelerators
Compact laser-plasma-based particle sources have matured significantly regarding laser technology and understanding of the underlying physics. Both developments pave the way for the setup of an ion accelerator for applications using the PENELOPE laser system.