The Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ALPS) facility of the pan-European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project was designed as a laser-based research infrastructure in which light pulses of few optical cycles in the infrared or mid-infrared spectral range are used for basic and applied research. In particular, these pulses will be used as the driving source for generating even shorter extreme ultraviolet (XUV) pulses with durations as short as a few tens of attoseconds.
All the six major laser systems available at ELI-ALPS were designed for stable and reliable operation, while featuring unique pulse parameters, such as unprecedented photon flux and extreme bandwidths. Each laser will run synchronized to the central facility clock, while femtosecond synchronization on target will be ensured by a dedicated timing system. Experimental beam time will be provided with uninterrupted operation of the primary driving lasers and associated secondary sources for at least eight hours per day.
The primary focus of ELI-ALPS is the generation of the best quality attosecond XUV pulses in terms of pulse energy, repetition rate and photon energy. This goal is only achievable using the highest quality primary sources and expertly designed, innovative high-harmonic beamlines. The generation of high flux attosecond pulse trains and isolated attosecond pulses is targeted using Gas-based or Surface Plasma-based High Harmonic Generation. These secondary sources will feature dedicated target end stations (e.g. Reaction Microscope, Condensed matter end station, Velocity Map Imaging Spectrometer and Magnetic Bottle Electron Spectrometer) enabling users to perform state-of-the-art experiments.
Experimental activities in the building complex started in 2018 with the installation of two 100 kHz repetition rate laser systems: the mid-infrared laser (MIR) and the first High Repetition Rate laser (HR1). They successfully served almost ten commissioning user experiments with external collaborators, for the investigation of phenomena such as electron migration in water, electron rescattering induced K-shell fluorescence, photoionization of droplets, photon statistics in harmonic generation in band gap materials etc., altogether for 51 operational weeks in 2018. In 2019 we expect to extend commissioning experiments to the SYLOS laser as well as to, at least, two attosecond and THz beamlines. The first attosecond beamline, driven by HR1 and dedicated to the investigation of ultrafast pheonemena in gas targets, is to be inaugurated mid 2019. In addition, the operation of the THz laboratory, as well as nanoplasmonic experiments are planned for 2019.