The primary mission of the ELI ALPS Szeged research facility is to make a wide range of ultrashort light sources accessible to the international scientific community user groups. Laser driven secondary sources emitting coherent extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) and x-ray radiation confined in attosecond pulses is a major research initiative of the infrastructure. The secondary purpose of the facility is to contribute to the necessary scientific and technological developments required for high peak intensity and high power lasers.

The ELI ALPS infrastructure provides the users, in the fields of scientific research and industrial applications, primary laser pulses in conjunction with an impressive array of synchronized secondary light and particle pulses. The outstanding characteristics of the source parameters include

  • Few-cycle pulses, from the terahertz/infrared up to the petahertz/ultraviolet, with an impressive 10 Hz to 100 kHz repetition rate
  • Attosecond extreme-ultraviolet, soft and hard x-ray mJ pulses with a 10 Hz - 100 kHz repetition rate
  • Sub-femtosecond hard x-ray pulses upto 10 keV photon energy and controlled ultra-relativistic pulse shapes with ultra-high contrast with 1 Hz repetition rate
  • Controlled ultra-relativistic pulse shapes with ultra- high contrast at a few Hz repetition rate
  • Precise synchronization of the above light sources

Main Features of the Infrastructure

The constructed buildings house the laser equipment, secondary sources, target areas, laser preparation and other special laboratories. It also provides sufficient administration space for approximately 250 researchers and support staff. There are also seminar, meeting and conference rooms; electrical, mechanical and optical workshops and a library. These state-of-the-art facilities require specialized design and cutting edge implementation of the latest technology for vibration levels, thermal stability, relative humidity, clean room facilities and radiation protection conditions.

Main Research and Application Areas of ELI ALPS

Valence and Core Electron Science

ELI ALPS’ extreme high-brilliance extreme ultraviolet and x-ray sources enable new research areas in electronic behavior. Atomic and molecular dynamics are revolutionized by the ultrashort valence electron spectroscopy and thus reveal the key electronic processes occurring within chemical reactions. Current inner shell electrons investigations are only possible at synchrotron sources which providing high photon energy radiation with limited temporal resolution and no coherence. ELI ALPS’ extreme light sources will be coherent and the superior temporal resolution combined with synchronized secondary laser sources enable greater understanding about core electronic processes.

4D Imaging

Three-dimensional arrays of nuclei and electrons define the structure and static/equilibrium characteristics of all matter. If the system is excited, the nature and time evolution of the response may be recorded in space and time (4D). Electronic and nuclear processes happen on vastly different timescales and the combination of primary and secondary light sources produced at the ELI ALPS infrastructure enable the development of 4D imaging and allow the visualization of the ultrafast electronic motion with attosecond temporal and atomic spatial resolution.

Relativistic Interactions

Interactions occurring between high intensity laser pulses (TW, PW) and matter evolve on the atomic (femtosecond, attosecond) time scale. The investigation of these processes requires a high intensity triggering laser pulse together with a synchronized “probing” attosecond pulse. ELI ALPS is expected to produce exactly these pulse combinations for studies of particle acceleration with lasers and non-linear quantum-electrodynamics.

Biological, Medical and Industrial Applications

ELI ALPS produces high-brightness, high repetition rate, extremely ultrashort laser-based x-ray pulses. Facility features open new research fields, and make new approaches feasible. Possible application areas include biomedical sciences, chemistry, climate research, energy, development of new materials, semiconductors, optoelectronics, and many more.