University of Strathclyde - Equipment Account"

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

We propose to undertake an essential and cost effective upgrade of an existing high-power femtosecond laser system at Strathclyde to increase its output power, improve its stability and provide it with the necessary beam control and diagnostics systems to evaluate its performance and control (adjust) several important output beam parameters. The upgrade comprises a cryogenic cooler, to improve the power dissipation and thermal stability of the final laser amplifier Ti:sapphire crystal, a high-energy pump laser for the final amplifier, a wavefront sensor and deformable mirror system, to measure and control the wavefront phase, and an integrated 3rd-order cross-correlator, to measure the laser pulse contrast. The diagnostic systems are necessary to optimise the laser parameters and achieve the desired properties at focus. The cryo-cooler allows cooling of the final amplifier crystal to be increased from 28 W to 80 W, which enables the output power of the laser to be increased to 40 TW using the new high-energy pump laser. The upgraded will improve stability, increase intensity and shorten set-up and alignment times, thus increasing the usable time of the laser system to allow better use of the system and the beamline facilities at Strathclyde.
The upgraded laser will be used to deliver the objectives of a Critical Mass proposal (submitted simultaneously) that is part of the ALPHA-X project, which involves 5 universities (Strathclyde, Glasgow, St Andrews, Dundee & Lancaster), and external Collaborators. The research programme includes a study of collective radiation-beam-plasma interactions at high field intensities, the production of ultra-short duration high brightness particle beams from the laser-plasma wakefield accelerator (LWFA), development of new methods of producing coherent and incoherent radiation, and applications of the sources. The applications programme involves an investigation of using high energy electrons for radiotherapy and also methods to produce medical radio-isotopes for medical imaging. The facility will also be used as a platform for engaging with industry through proof-of-concept projects.The upgraded facilities will be transferred to the SUPA Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) when the facility has been constructed.

Planned Impact

Impact and relevance of the projects enabled by the upgraded laser will take place at several levels and on different timescales.

The impact of the research will be wide ranging, from pure academic research to advancing the field and exploring new regimes arising from moving into new parameter domains. In addition to new opportunities in basic research, there are numerous new applications, some of which could have a very high impact e.g. radiotherapy, nuclear fusion, imaging of dense matter, medical radio-isotope production. Basic research will feed into applications and deliver benefits to industry and ultimately the UK economy. Indirectly, trained scientists may find their way into industry. By setting a high standard for the research, and publishing in high impact journals, the group will become more competitive in a rapidly growing area of research, which has many potential applications. Multi-disciplinary approach will develop a flexibility to tackle challenging problems and be attractive to international projects, thus allowing the team to engage with and lead international projects. The most important dissemination paths enhancing the profile of the research in the academic community will be through publishing the outcomes of the research in high impact journals and presenting the work at national and international conferences.

The output of the research will have longer term but significant impact. As one of the objectives is on applications of the technology being developed, in particular in the health sector, we expect the project to have more immediate impact in radiotherapy and imaging, which has a high impact on society and quality of life.

There is a demand for improving cancer therapy in the UK. Particle therapy is currently seen as a possible route to improving treatment of certain types of cancer, particularly in young children. Compact accelerators and radiation sources could have impact on diagnosis of illnesses, e.g. by enabling on-site production of PET radioisotopes and other tracers. Recent reports have identified an impending acute shortage of medical radioisotopes because of the imminent decommissioning of reactors. Compact radiation sources could have an impact on detection of explosives and therefore on global insecurity. Imaging of stored nuclear waste could also have an impact on the legacy of nuclear power generation.

Academia and industry are likely to gain from the development of more compact coherent radiation sources. Furthermore, ultrashort gamma ray pulses should allow real time investigation of materials subject to stimuli. A compact coherent X-ray source based on laser plasma wakefield accelerators would have a major impact on the pharmaceuticals industry and health care because reduced cost would make them more widely available.

Employers will benefit from skilled workforce trained in a multidisciplinary environment. The immediate beneficiaries will be academic institutes, industry, NHS and government laboratories, but it is anticipated that the broad skills gained could be transferred to a diverse range of career pathways.
 
Title Near-threshold electron injection in the laser-plasma wakefield accelerator leading to femtosecond bunches 
Description "Theoretical model describing self-injection of electron in laser-plasma wakefield accelerator near the threshold regime. This process is crucial in determining the electron bunch properties. In this paper we show that injection occurs due to the localised charge density build-up in the sheath crossing region at the rear of the bubble, which has the effect of increasing the accelerating potential to above a critical value. Injected electron bunch duration is determined by the dwell time above this critical value, which explains why single or multiple ultra-short electron bunches are formed in the first bubble. We have performed a series of 3-D particle-in-cell simulations (OSIRIS) to compared our model as well as experimental measurements on the ALPHA-X beam line." 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not recorded 
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2012
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2014
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description ALPHA-X project workshop 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Chair : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description ALPHA-X project workshop 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Chair : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description ALPHA-X project workshop 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Chair : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description SCAPA project meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description SCAPA project meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2013
 
Description SCAPA project meeting 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitor
Start Year 2012
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Host : Hosting academic visitor
.

ALPHA-X project management meeting, Glasgow

Hosting of the ALPHA-X project management meeting, Glasgow
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description ALPHA-X project management meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact ALPHA-X project management meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Burgh Primary School Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Burgh Primary School Outreach - Related to Commonwealth Games topic
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Burgh Primary School Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Burgh Primary School Outreach - World of Work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Department of Physics Advanced Higher Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Department of Physics Advanced Higher Day
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Department of Physics Advanced Higher Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Department of Physics Advanced Higher Day - Laboratory demonstration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Department of Physics Open Evening 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Department of Physics Open Evening
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Department of Physics Open Evening 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Department of Physics Open Evening
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ELI-beamlines collaboration meeting and lab tour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact ELI-beamlines collaboration meeting and lab tour - To share information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Hallside Primary School outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Speaker : Schools engagement
.

Hallside Primary School outreach, Glasgow
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Hosting academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SCAPA Management Executive Committee Meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosting academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cockcroft Institute collaborator lab tours
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Innovate UK lab tours
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SCAPA Management Executive Committee Meeting on 22/06/2016 and on 02/12/2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SDI and collaborators lab tours
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting of external, non-academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cavendish Nuclear lab tour
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosting of external, non-academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cavendish Nuclear lab tour on 20/12/2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting of external, non-academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Rolls Royce lab tours on 19/07/2016, 22/08/2016, and 15/09/2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hosting of external, non-academic visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact AMEC Foster Wheeler lab tour
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Lab tour for EDF Energy visitor 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Lab tour for EDF Energy visitor - To share information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Laserlab Europe Data Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Laserlab Europe Data Workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NPL / Surrey Collaboration Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact NPL / Surrey Collaboration Workshop - To share information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description NPL collaboration meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact NPL collaboration meeting - To share information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Public lecture/debate/seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Kilmarnock Engineering and Science Society public lecture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description SCAPA Management Executive Committee Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact March 2017 SCAPA Management Executive Committee Meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description SCAPA beamtime users - ELI beamlines 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact SCAPA beamtime users - ELI beamlines - To share information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SCAPA lab tours for school pupils 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact SCAPA lab tours for school pupils
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description SILIS laboratory tours for school teachers and pupils 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact SILIS laboratory tours for school teachers and pupils - To improve understanding of others thinking at a Department of Physics Open Evening
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SUPA Annual Gathering 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Annual SUPA meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Outreach activities at Burgh Primary School, Rutherglen
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Outreach activities at Edinburgh Montessori Arts School
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Schools engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation to school pupils at the Department of Physics Advanced Higher Day on 15/12/2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Siemans Healthcare Engagement Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Siemans Healthcare Engagement Meeting To share information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description The Cockroft Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Cockcroft Institute Management Committee lab tour
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017