Porträt Prof. Dr. Schramm, Ulrich; FWKT

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schramm

Director Institute for Radiation Physics and Head Laser Particle Acceleration Division
Phone: +49 351 260 2471

Anne Varga

Secretary Institute of Radiation Physics
Phone: +49 351 260 3293

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.

Laser-plasma accelerators for radiotherapy research

Interdisciplinary science for tomorrow's radiotherapy.
We are enabling research for radiotherapy of cancer with ultra-high dose rate beams by bringing the ultra-short and intense beams from laser-plasma-acceleration to application-readiness.


The division of Laser Particle Acceleration 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.

Foto: Laser ion acceleration - view inside the chamber ©Copyright: Dr. Karl Zeil

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.
Foto: LWFAsetup ©Copyright: Dr. Arie Irman

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.
Foto: Grating compressor Draco PW ©Copyright: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schramm

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.
Foto: Penelope 10J amplifier mirrors ©Copyright: O. Killig

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
Foto: Foil simulation Los Alamos ©Copyright: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schramm

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.
Foto: Ref JRG LPA ©Copyright: Dr. Josefine Metzkes-Ng

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.
Foto: Mouse skin ©Copyright: Bernabei

Ultra-high dose-rate radiobiology

Our group is involved inte preclinical radiobiological research into novel radiation qualities with regard to their clinical applicability, such as ultra-high dose rates and particle beams.