Since their invention, lasers have been extremely effective to improve our understanding of the molecular and atomic structure of matter and the associated dynamical events. However, laser pulse energy was not enough to probe deeper – into nucleons and their components the quarks or to dissociate the vacuum. A new type of large-scale laser infrastructure specifically designed to produce the highest peak power and focused intensity was established by the European Community: the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI). ELI was designed to be the first exawatt class laser facility, equivalent to 1000 times the National Ignition Facility (NIF) power. Producing kJ of power over 10 fs, ELI will afford wide benefits to society ranging from improvement of oncology treatment, medical and biomedical imaging, fast electronics and our understanding of aging nuclear reactor materials to development of new methods of nuclear waste processing.

The facility will be based on four sites. Three of them are implemented in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

ELI-ALPS based in Szeged (Hungary), one of the three pillars of the Extreme Light Infrastructure, will further deepen knowledge in fundamental physics by providing high repetition rate intense light pulses on the attosecond timescale. Current technological limitations will be overcome by use of novel concepts. The main technological backbone of ELI-ALPS will be optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) of few-cycle to sub-cycle laser pulses.

Pumped by dedicated all-solid-state short-pulse (ps-scale) sources and their (low-order) harmonics, this approach will be competitive with conventional (Ti:Sapphire laser based) femtosecond technology in terms of pumping efficiency and will dramatically outperform previous technologies in terms of average power, contrast, bandwidth, and – as a consequence – degree of control of the generated radiation. The ELI-ALPS laser architecture will consist of three main laser beamlines, operating at different regimes of repetition rates and peak powers: High Repetition Rate (HR): 100 kHz, > 5 mJ, ≤ 6 fs, Single Cycle (SYLOS): 1 kHz, > 120 mJ, ≤ 8 fs, High Field (HF): 10 Hz, 34 J, ≤ 17 fs.

The Single Cycle Laser SYLOS2A (the first stage of the SYLOS project), which employs OPCPA technology developed at Vilnius University, has been designed and manufactured by a consortium of two Lithuanian companies – Ekspla and Light Conversion.

The consortium won SYLOS1 procurement SYLOS2A upgrade tenders. The system was installed in 15 May 2019 and produces Carrier Envelope Phase (CEP) stabilized, 6.6 fs laser pulses with a peak power of > 4.5 TW and an average power of 35 W at 1 kHz repetition rate. To the best of our knowledge, this is currently the highest average power produced by a multi-TW few-cycle OPCPA system.

Despite of its uniqueness and extremely high power, the current state of SYLOS laser system already sets a new standard of reliability in ultrafast laser technology.

On 25 of November 2020, ELI‑ALPS (Extreme Light Infrastructure Attosecond Light Pulse Source ) facility and consortium between EKSPLA and Light Conversion, signed a contract for building a new laser system, called SYLOS3 for ELI-ALPS.

A new system will deliver unique parameters, never before achieved in a commercially available system: 15 TW peak power at 1 KHz repetition rate and 8 femtoseconds pulse duration. Compared to SYLOS2A system (4.5 TW, 6.36 fs, 1 kHz) , already installed at ELI-ALPS, new system will provide more than 3 times higher peak and average power.

‘The ELI-ALPS SYLOS3 laser system is planned to generate coherent X-ray radiation through gas and surface higher order harmonic generation, as well as electron acceleration in order to serve various experiments.’ – mentioned Adam Börzsönyi, Head of Laser Sources Division at ELI-ALPS. – ‘One of the many applications is the generation of attosecond pulses for attosecond metrology. The beamlines operated with the SYLOS laser are designed for user operation and demands high stability of operation with high up-time. These tasks will be of top priority when designing and developing the SYLOS3 system.’

Due to the exceptionally large XUV/X-ray energy this system opens up the route to nonlinear XUV and X-ray science as well as 4D imaging and industrial, biological and medical applications.

The main object of ELI-ALPS (Extreme Light Infrastructure Attosecond Light Pulse Source) project is creating a unique European research center, providing the international research community with laser pulses and secondary sources. The Szeged facility will stand out from the institutes producing the highest intensity laser pulses at 1 kHz pulse repetition rate in the world.

Download pdf Catalogue below

  • > 15 TW peak power
  • sub-8 fs pulse duration
  • 1 kHz repetition rate
  • > 120 mJ output energy
  • > 120 W average power

FEATURES

  • Driven by low maintenance cost diode-pumped and industry-tested Yb:KGW and Nd:YAG lasers running at 1 kHz repetition rate
  • > 120 W average power combined with > 15 TW peak power, along with sub-250 mrad carrier-envelope phase stability (CEP) and sub-8 fs pulse duration at a center wavelength of 900 nm
  • Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) – free, passively CEP stabilized pulses have excellent stability of output parameters over 24 hours of continuous operation
  • Despite its unique set of specifications, it is still a table-top system
  • A sophisticated self-diagnostic system allows hands-free operation and output specification stability all day long without operator intervention

APPLICATIONS

  • Fundamental frontier particle physics research
  • Nuclear Photonics
  • High harmonic generation
  • Attosecond pulse generation
  • Wake field particle acceleration
  • X-ray generation

Lasers, Light & other EM Sources