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Research Area A.1

Broadband and intense coherent light sources

One of the scientific goals of MAP is the exploration of the electronic structure and process of matter and the development of advanced techniques for biomedical imaging and therapies. The pursuit of these goals requires advances in frequency-comb and attosecond pulse generation as well as laser-driven ion and X-ray sources, respectively. These advances, in turn, critically rely on improved sources of high-power, ultrashort-duration laser pulses. In Research Area A.1 we propose to develop advanced broadband/ultrashort-pulse generation technologies for the development of secondary sources as well as direct application in Research Areas B (Probing and controlling electrons) and C (Biomedical imaging and radiation therapy with brilliant X-rays and particle beams).

Research Area A.1 "Broadband and intense coherent light sources" is structured by specific research objectives for the 2012 – 2017 funding period. In order to push the frontiers of conventional as well as novel ultrafast spectroscopies, such as femtosecond electron diffraction, we aim at the development of powerful few-cycle laser pulses at a sub-MHz repetition rate. Advances in enhancement-cavity technology will allow us to create powerful frequency combs and attosecond pulses at MHz rate in the extreme ultraviolet via intra-cavity high-harmonic generation and to scale hard X-ray laboratory sources to higher photon fluxes via intra-cavity inverse Thomson scattering. Last but not least, PFS-pro and ATLAS-3000 constitute the basis for pushing the frontiers of laser-based brilliant sources of energetic X-rays and ions.

Main objectives for 2012-2017:

a) Scaling of few-cycle sources to multi-gigawatt peak-power levels at sub-MHz repetition rates and with multi-octiva (UV-VIS-MIR) spectral coverage for exploring and steering electron dynamics

b) Advancing high-power XUV frequency combs to higher photon fluxes and greater stability by high harmonic generation (HHG) inside an enhancement cavity

c) Development of next-generation enhancement cavities capable of storing sub-picosecond pulses at average powers beyond 100 kW for boosting the XZV flux of HHG sources and the X-ray flux of the hard-X-ray Thomson source (BRIX)

d) Development of PFS-pro: Joule-scale, few cycle (0,5J, ~5 fs, 700-1400 nm) system at 1 KHz repetition rate, to be synchronized with ATLAS-3000 in the long run

e) Building ATLAS-3000: 3 PW 1-Hz Ti:Sa laser system (60 J, 20 fs, ?0=790 nm), to be synchronized with PFS-pro in the long run

Deputy coordinators