The ELI-ALPS research facility is approaching the challenging milestone of the transition from its implementation to the operational phase. During its operational phase ELI-ALPS will make accessible to the international scientific community user groups a wide range of novel light sources and state of the art user end-stations. The sources will cover a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from THz to x-ray wavelengths, emitting at high repetition rates, pulses as short in duration, as nature allows for the specific spectral region of each source. Scientifically, they serve the primarily mission of ELI-ALPS, which is the visualization of ultrafast structural dynamics. Ultrafast dynamics in gas, liquid, condensed phase and plasma occur in attosecond to picosecond timescales, all covered by the resolution of the sources of ELI-ALPS. Reaching the hard x-ray spectral region holds promise in taking snap shots of the moving samples with Angstrom/attosecond spatiotemporal resolution.
Dynamics in: correlated atomic and molecular systems, electro-nuclear coherences, non-Born Oppenheimer relaxation, charge migration in biomolecules, structural rearrangement, dissociation, femtomagetism, nanoplasmonic vortices and interfacial electron transfer are few examples of contemporary forefront research topics in physics, chemistry, materials and biology that can be optimally addressed at the ELI-ALPS facility. Thanks to the precisely controllable electric field of its radiation sources ELI-ALPS further provides the means of controlling and steering the carrier dynamics of the systems interacting with the radiation. Steering carrier dynamics with light becomes highly relevant to innovative ultrafast electronics and optical switches, impacting technological domains such as telecommunications and information. Along the same lines control of molecular rearrangement and dissociation relates to control of chemical reaction products impacting chemistry.
End of 2017 and in 2018 the first commissioning experiments are conducted by international expert groups. The experimental campaigns include the study of dynamics in liquid phase, photon statistics in bandgap material harmonic generation, quantum properties of harmonic pulses, Mid-IR laser induced K-shell processes and Mid-IR laser photoionization of He droplets. This first step towards the operational phase will soon be followed by an open call to experts, the so called “call zero” of ELI-DC, involving an external proposal evaluation committee, prior to the final competitive open calls - to be launched by the ELI-ERIC - addressed to all user community and exploiting the full capacity of the infrastructure.