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ELI ALPS receives its first patent

In response to our patent application for a gas cell suitable for high harmonic generation, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office granted the patent rights in October 2023. The patent deed was delivered in February 2024.

ELI ALPS receives its first patent

 

In June 2019, ELI ALPS’ physicists, research fellow Tamás Csizmadia, scientific engineer Zoltán Filus and then group leader Miklós Füle in the HR Attosources Group, jointly filed a patent application for their invention titled Gas cell and arrangement for high harmonic EUV generation and method for assembling the gas cell arrangement.

Thanks to the patent protection, our research institute will be able to market this invention more successfully, and in turn use the expected sales revenues for further research and development. Furthermore, this achievement can make our institute more attractive for prospective users and lead to new collaborations.

 

We interviewed our patent-winning researchers about their invention.

 

 

What did you obtain this patent for?

With the help of our gas cell, we can inject gas to the high harmonic generation zones of the High Repetition rate laser system-based Gas High-order Harmonic Generation beamlines (HR GHHG) of ELI ALPS, while maintaining the vacuum environment. The unique feature of our development is that the cell can be operated for an extended period at the high heat load caused by the ~100 W power of our HR-1 primary source, and it is expected to withstand heat loads up to five times higher that will occur during the use of the HR-2 laser. The gas cells used in university laboratories are subject to damage at such high laser intensities, and would require frequent and time-consuming maintenance, disrupting the vacuum environment. To ensure proper cooling, we circulate the cooling water – delivered to the gas cell through the vacuum chamber – in specifically designed cooling channels.

 

 

How did the development go?

The first snippets of ideas for the invention were conceived during a long, cloudy weekend in autumn 2018, after which we went through a short design phase. From the spring of the following year, after the first prototype was built, we developed and tested the concept with the beamline. The entire HR Attosources Group contributed their professional expertise to these processes. This was followed by a four-year-long, complex patenting process, during which we received a lot of help from the Legal Department and the Grant and Innovation Management Department.

We generated the first high-order harmonic pulses in spring 2019, and it was a fantastic experience to be part of the experiment. However, the development of the cell did not stop there, as existing instruments can always be further improved to enhance their efficiency or other metrics. There is still experimental and theoretical work underway to further improve the flux and stability of the high harmonic radiation generated in the cell. 

 

 

What are the practical benefits of the patented process?

The invention is a practical product that can function by itself, but it is also useful in all other applications where continuous gas injection is required under high heat loads. At ELI’s laboratories, our gas cell can be used as a reliable, low maintenance, stable gas target for high harmonic generation. High repetition rate HHG can support scientific applications requiring large sets of statistical data, where these technical conditions are essential for successful experimentation.

 

 

What are the benefits of this patent for ELI ALPS and the inventors?

ELI ALPS, as patent owner, enjoys all the privileges that a patent can bring. In the technical and scientific world, for inventors, patents and published results are the same as volumes of poetry or prose for poets and writers: for us, inventions are the fruits of our labour, our contributions to the global development of science and technology. Another interesting aspect of patenting is that it allows sharing ideas with members of the research community with technical details that would not be possible otherwise (for example, in the form of a scientific paper), while maintaining the inventors’ competitive advantage.

 

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According to the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, an invention is a novel technical solution relating to a product or process, and the related legal protection is called patent or patent protection. A patent gives the patent owner an advantage over competitors in the market for relevant products and technologies.

A patent valid in Hungary can be obtained either by filing an application with the Hungarian or European authorities, or under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), provided that the application and the reported invention comply with the legal requirements.

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