press release — Researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics in Garching have built the first-ever laser-driven particle accelerator that can generate pairs of electron beams with different energies.
- February 21, 2019
- November 12, 2018Expert for Blood Samples
short report — At the beginning of October Dr. Frank Fleischmann joined the Broadband Infrared Diagnostics (BIRD) team led by Dr. Mihaela Zigman. Fleischmann began his career in biology as a botanist, but later switched to medical research. Before taking up his present position as a member of the BIRD team, he worked for a commercial provider of genetic tests, including the genotyping of cancer patients, for example. Fleischmann’s role in the BIRD team is akin to that of an archivist. He is responsible for the cataloging and storage of blood samples. Needless to say, accurate documentation and painstaking handling of test samples are of fundamental importance in medical research. After all, its ultimate goal is to produce a therapeutic agent or procedure that will be used to treat real patients every day. Fleischmann is also in charge of the database specially developed for the Lasers4Life project, and meticulously documents everything done with each and every one of the vital samples in his care.At the moment, the samples of blood plasma and the sera obtained from them are being stored at a temperature of −80°C. However, even this temperature is not low enough for long-term storage of such samples, as slow ice recrystallization alters their consistency, and after a certain time they have to be discarded. Fleischmann is working on an automated cooling system based on liquid nitrogen as the refrigerant, which will allow the samples to be kept at temperatures as low as −180°C. This is sufficiently cold to inhibit ice recrystallization in the liquid – and under these conditions, the constituents of the various blood fractions will remain unchanged for decades. Thus, as even more advanced methods of laser spectroscopy are developed in the future, the new system will enable the BIRD team to re-examine the samples already collected.
- October 31, 2018Congratulations 2018 Physics Nobel Prize Winners
short report — The LAP team warmly congratulates Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland on winning the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize! Our colleagues are being honored for their ground-breaking inventions in laser physics. Arthur Ashkin is being awarded the prize for the development of optical tweezers and its application in biological systems and Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their method of producing ultra-short, high-intensity optical pulses. The latter is a technique that we use daily and are developing further in our laboratories. Ultra-short pulse laser physics represents a focal point of our research and we are honored that such importance is being attached to this area of expertise.
- August 20, 2018
short report — Junior researchers at LMU Munich are also actively involved in the Lasers4Life project. One of them is Maša Bozič. As part of her Master’s project, she is using visible light to analyse blood samples, before they are examined with the newly developed near-infrared laser.
- July 12, 2018Important visitor from Hungary
short report — An Important visitor made an appearance at the Center for Advanced Laser Applications and the Laboratory for Extreme Photonics last Friday. Dr. László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology was on the research campus in Garching and visited the two laser research facilities at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.While there, he received a tour of the large laser systems in the laboratories from Professor Ferenc Krausz and Dr. Andreas Döpp. The minister was particularly impressed by the enormous developments that laser technology has made in recent years and the associated opportunities for their use in medicine. Of particular interest for him, was the BIRD project and its blood analysis using laser light. Collaboration with clinics in Hungary in the framework of the project is currently being planned.
- July 3, 2018Summer school students
short report — The Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität is hosting guests from Saudi Arabia this summer. For one month Abdullah Ali Alshehri, Ibrahim Abdullah Almuhanna, Rayan Khalid Alzahrani, Lamyaa Alasim and Saleha Mansour Alshalwi will be completing the Summer School for Quantum Optics in the LAP team’s research groups. All five participants are studying physics. The summer school is a joint project of the LAP team and the King Saud University in Riyadh. At the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, the students will work in the laboratories, as well as attend lectures and round table discussions with senior scientists. We wish them a successful and eventful stay here!
- June 22, 2018
short report — IMPRS-APS offers young researchers a unique combination of education and training opportunities in the physics and technology of photon sources and their advanced application in physics, chemistry and biology.
This year´s application round will be open until July 30th, 2018.
- June 14, 2018Blood donation for cancer research
short report — A blood donation campaign will be organized on the 14th and 15th of June, 2018 within the framework of the »Lasers 4 Life« project. Please take part!
For more information, visit: https://www.lasers4life.de
- June 8, 2018A new member of the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg
short report — Dr. Hanieh Fattahi was selected as the member of the Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg of the Max Planck Society. "You are one of the new excellent scientists selected by the members of the Kolleg," writes Director and Speaker of the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester.
- May 17, 2018Two invited talks at the SPIE Conference
short report — Our group presented two invited talks at the recent SPIE Conference »Optical Systems Design«, Frankfurt am Main, 14-17 May 2018
1. Tatiana Amotchkina, Michael Trubetskov, Vladimir Pervak, Optical and mechanical properties of layers typically used in the mid-infrared spectral range (the talk was given by Tatiana Amotchkina).
2. Vladimir Pervak, Michael Trubetskov, Tatiana Amotchkina, Oleg Pronin, Ka Fai Mak and Ferenc Krausz, Broadband Si/SiO2 dispersive mirrors for the 2-3.2 µm spectral range (the talk was given by Vladimir Pervak).
- April 23, 2018
press release — Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of health. Researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) – a joint venture between Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching near Munich – want to use brilliant infrared light to study molecular disease markers in much greater detail, for example to facilitate early stage cancer diagnosis. The team has developed a powerful femtosecond light source which emits at wavelengths between 1.6 and 10.2 micrometers. This instrument should make it possible to detect organic molecules present in extremely low concentrations in blood or aspirated air.
- April 17, 2018
press release — Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have taken a major step towards the clinical application of a new laser-based source of X-rays. They recently demonstrated that the instrument enables the tomographic reconstruction of the three-dimensional fine structure of a bone sample within a few minutes. Up to now, laser-based measurements of this sort took several hours. The breakthrough was made possible by the further development of ATLAS, the high-performance laser in LMU’s Laboratory for Extreme Photonics (LEX Photonics) der LMU on the Research Campus in Garching. Reconstruction of the sample from the imaging data was also facilitated by the use of specially designed computer programmes.
- April 12, 2018
press release — Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort light pulses in the infrared and visible regions of the spectrum. Extremely high-energy laser pulses, each lasting for a few femtoseconds, have made spectacular experiments possible, which have in turn yielded revolutionary insights. Above all, the growth in understanding of the interaction between light and electrons opens up entirely new prospects for the future of electronics. In the journal Review of Modern Physics (10 April 2018), Dr. Stanislav Kruchinin, Prof. Ferenc Krausz and Dr. Vladislav Yakovlev from the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ)) in Munich, provide a timely overview of current research in ultrafast solid-state physics. They describe recent breakthroughs and take a look at what we can expect from the field in the coming years.
- April 9, 2018We congratulate Marcus Seidel with the successful PhD defense
graduation — The PhD title is "A new generation of high-power, waveform controlled, few-cycle light sources".
- March 26, 2018High-reflectance broadband infrared dispersive mirrors
short report — For the first time, broadband infrared dispersive mirrors exhibiting reflectance exceeding 99.6% and providing group-delay dispersion of -100 fs2 and -200 fs2 in the spectral range from 2 to 3.2 µm have been designed and produced in our group. The dispersive mirrors, based on Si/SiO2 thin-film materials, are key optical elements for mode-locked Cr:ZnS and Cr:ZnSe oscillators and pave the way for the development of ultrafast optics operating in the mid-infrared spectral range.
- March 26, 2018Front cover: Infrared lasers
short report — In article number 1700273, Jinwei Zhang and co‐workers investigate two different gain materials — Tm:YAG and Ho:YAG — in thin‐disk configuration. Using a 72‐pass pump cavity, thin‐disk lasers with high powers and optical‐to‐optical efficiencies at 2 µm are realized, paving the way for further scaling of power towards kW‐level based on thin‐disk technology. The image was made and processed by Thorsten Naeser, Dennis Luck, and Kilian Fritsch together with the authors of this manuscript.
- March 19, 2018A new editor of Optics Letters
short report — Dr. Tatiana Amotchkina has reached a strong international reputation in the research field of thin films and multilayer coatings allowing her to be invited to the Board of Editors of Optics Letters journal. Her significant record of publications in peer reviewed high quality journals, track records in the scientific carrier as well as excellent many-years reviewing activities form a good basis for the editorial responsibilities.
- March 7, 2018Dr. Moritz Ueffing
graduation — Moritz Ueffing has defended his doctoral thesis: Direct Amplification of Femtosecond Pulses.
- February 23, 2018Student's visit of CALA labs
short report — Students from LMU today visited our lab and got a short impression of state-of-the-art high-power laser development in CALA. Our visitors have been attending the 3rd term lecture on optics and were invited to visit different labs at both LMU and MPQ.
- February 23, 2018
press release — Infrared light has a keen sense for molecules. With the help of this light, researchers are able to go in search of the small particles which shape and determine our lives. The phenomenon, in which infrared light sets molecules in vibration, is pivotal in this search. Scientists are exploiting this phenomenon by using infrared light to analyze the molecular makeup of samples. In the hope that this analysis can become even more exact, the laser physicists from the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Ludwig-MaximiliansUniversität(LMU) Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have developed an infrared light source that has an enormously broad spectrum of wavelengths. This light source is the first of its kind worldwide and can be used to help detect the smallest amounts of molecules in liquids like blood.
- January 31, 2018
press release — In their experiments, the group fired a powerful laser pulse at a micrometer-sized plastic sphere, blasting a bunch of protons from the target and accelerating them to velocities approaching the speed of light. The resulting velocity distribution is much narrower than that obtained when thin metal foils are used as targets.
- December 20, 2017Xmas Celebration 2017
short report — Laser goggles on and ready for attosecond and femtosecond challenges in 2018. Attosecond team (ATTO) and us celebrated Xmas holidays together.
- October 22, 2017Wine gums, balloons and a tour of CALA
short report — Open Day this year drew a crowd of approximately 11,000 to the Research Campus in Garching, and for the first time visitors had access to the new Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA). On guided tours of the new facility, CALA’s guests were informed about the experiments that will be carried out at the Center, and were treated to a mesmerizing laser light show.Visitors also took part in an aeronautical experiment, releasing a host of balloons from a take-off point in front of the building. The person who launched the ‘farthest flier’ can look forward to free tickets for the German Museum. Colour was also the order of the day at the Institute for Advanced Studies. In the space set aside for exhibitions, two dedicated members of Photonlab (our laser laboratory for school students) had painstakingly constructed a wave generator, using the unlikely combination of sticky tape, kebab skewers and – jellybabies. This inventive masterpiece was a particularly big hit with our youngest visitors. Needless to say, not all the jellybeans survived!
- August 17, 2017Cross-polarized, multi-octave supercontinuum generation
short report — We celebrated the recently published work of Haochuan, in a Chinese restaurant. The work discusses the enhancement of the Kerr nonlinearity through a second order cascaded process. This nonlinearity enhancement relaxes the requirement on the laser's peak power in variety of nonlinear process like supercontinuum generation.
- July 31, 2017Ayman Alismail's work is featured in a 10-min video
short report — An Yb:YAG, thin-disk amplifier developed by Ayman Alismail in the group of Dr. Hanieh Fattahi has been featured in a 10 min video by the Journal of Visualized Experiments. The video can be found here.
- July 25, 2017We thank our volunteers
short report — We have successfully completed the collection of samples for our small longitudinal study in Garching to evaluate the inter-personal and intra-personal variability of molecular fingerprints.We would like to thank all the contributors and invite them all to a party on Friday, July 28th!
- July 25, 2017Joint clinical studies with three LMU clinics have taken off!
short report — We develop a new infrared laser molecular fingerprinting to detect breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer from blood samples. Joint clinical studies in collaboration with three clinics at the LMU (Breast Cancer Center, Comprehensive Pneumology Center / Asklepios Clinic and Urology Clinics) have started in July 2017.
- June 7, 2017Meet us at CLEO Europe 2017 in Munich!
short report — Meet us at CLEO Europe 2017 in Munich! We have 5 oral contributions. Among those are one invited talk and two post-deadline contributions. The full list of contributions:
1. J. Zhang, et al., »Kerr-lens mode-locked Ho:YAG thin-disk oscillator at 2.1 µm«, upgraded to invited talk CA-5.5 on Monday.
2. J. Zhang et al., »7-W, 2-cycle self-compressed pulses at 2.1 micron from a Ho:YAG thin disk laser oscillator,«CLEO Europe, post-deadline talk PD-1.5 on Wednesday.
3. K. Fritsch, J. Brons, M. Poetzlberger, V. Pervak, F. Krausz, and O. Pronin »Fiber free all solid multipass spectral broadening down to 10 fs Fourier Limit,« CLEO Europe, post-deadline talk PD-1.7 on Wednesday.
4. J. Brons et al., »Efficient, high-power, all-bulk spectral broadening in a quasi-waveguide«, talk CF-9.4 on Wednesday.
5. M. Poetzlberger et al., »Towards Active Multipass Kerr-lens Mode-locked Yb:YAG thin-disk Oscillators«, talk CA-7.2 on Monday.
- May 4, 2017SNSF fellowship for Liudmila Voronina!
short report — We congratulate Liudmila (Lucy) Voronina on having her Early Postdoc. Mobilityfellowship funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) so she can tackle her research on »Field-Resolved Infrared Spectroscopy And Liquid Chromatography Brought Together For Cancer Diagnostics«. Lucy recently joined the Laser Fingerprinting team analysing living systems in Prof. Krausz's department at LMU. She is eager to employ her background in structural analysis of biomolecules and merge it with laser fingerprinting to address real-world biomedical problems relevant to cancer detection.
- May 3, 2017We introduce Sigrid Auweter!
short report — Dr. Sigrid Auweter (Siggi) is heading a small team located at the LMU Clinic, coordinating and controlling the clinical studies with internal and external clinical partners. She is managing and coordinating collaborative efforts with specialized medical doctors and study nurses involved in the project and helping in the design as well as organization of medical sample collection.
- April 28, 2017Our new team member: Inci
short report — Dr. Incinur Zellhuber (Inci), studied Optics and Photonics at the Karlsruhe School of Optics under the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and pursued her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Munich. She just joined our team to help us build biorepository of human and experimental samples to be investigated with laser based infrared spectroscopy. She will contribute to the assessment of cutting-edge laser fingerprinting to define health states and physiology of living systems.
- April 22, 2017Science March Munich
short report — We have participated in the »Science March Munich«.
More information can be found here.
- April 1, 2017Welcome Lucy!
short report — We welcome Liudmila Voronina (Lucy), our new member that has just joined us. Lucy came from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, where she did her PhD thesis. She will apply broad-band infrared diagnostics to cancer detection, as well as develop new approaches in time-resolved infrared spectroscopy in general. Given her background in structural analysis of biomolecules in the gas phase, she is bringing a new perspective to the group. Lucy will also combine infrared spectroscopy with other analytical techniques in order to improve the sensitivity and selectivity of the method and to create an effective tool useful to clinical community.
- March 24, 2017Jonathan Brons has successfully defended his PhD
graduation — The PhD title is "High-power femtosecond laser-oscillators for applications in high-ﬁeld physics".
- March 1, 2017
short report — Dr. Hanieh Fattahi (Photo: Thorsten Naeser), a young physicist at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has been chosen for the Max Planck Society’s Minerva Fast Track Programme. On an annual basis, the programme currently supports two outstanding postdoctoral female scientists from the fields of the CPTS (Chemistry, Physics and Technology) Section to plan their careers in a more targeted way.
- September 27, 2016
press release — Light, when strongly concentrated, develops an enormous power. Using this concentrated energy, a team of physicists from the Institute of Experimental Physics – Medical Physics at the cluster of excellence the Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP) of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München caused an explosion. The researchers concentrate laser light onto beads of plastic just a few micrometers in size. The concentrated energy blows up the nanoparticles. This releases radiation made up of positively charged atoms (protons). Such proton beams could be used in future for treating tumors, and in advanced imaging techniques.
- September 20, 2016Awarded multilayer coatings design
short report — Dr. Michael Trubetskov won four First Prizes in Design Contest Awards (Optical Interference Coatings Topical Meeting 2016) of the Optical Society of America (OSA). The first design problem of this year involved a dispersive mirror with maximum negative GDD (sub-problem A1) and with specified GDD level (sub-problem A2). In both cases the allowed GDD oscillation level was limited to 10%. The second problem was related to the design of a reflector with complicated spectral reflectance (sub-problem B1). In sub-problem B2 it was necessary to take into account complicated multilayer deposition conditions and to optimize overall performance. The contest takes place every three years, in order to better understand the possibilities and limitations of the current state-of-the-art theory/software for optical interference coatings. In this contest 18 participants from Germany, USA, France, Japan, China took place. The results of the Design Contest will be published in the featured issue of Applied Optics devoted to OIC 2016.
- September 19, 2016Starting with a table
short report — The time has come: interior work at the new Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA) has begun! The first laser tables have arrived and been hoisted by crane into the hall. Even the smallest of the tables weighs around 800 kilograms; the largest about 1.2 tons. On these tables, the post-amplifier will be set up to convert the ATLAS 300 Laser into the ATLAS 3000 Laser. With a capacity of three petawatts, this will be the primary light source for the laser-driven experiments at CALA.
- September 16, 2016
short report — Workshop »Future of ultrashort laser pulses II« in Hotel Zámek Štiřín, Kamenice, Czech Republic Please find all information on the workshop at its website: www.future-of-ultrashort-pulses.de
- June 9, 2016
short report — Marcus Seidel, who joined the group of Prof. Ferenc Krausz in 2012, has been selected as the winner of the Tingye Li Innovation Prize at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO 2016). In honor of the Chinese-American physicist Dr. Tingye Li (1931-2012) and his fundamental research in particular on laser modes and optical communication, the Optical Society of America (OSA) Foundation annually awards two young scientists for their innovative work in the field of optics and photonics.
- May 31, 2016
press release — The interaction between light and matter is of key importance in nature, the most prominent example being photosynthesis. Light-matter interactions have also been used extensively in technology, and will continue to be important in electronics of the future. A technology that could transfer and save data encoded on light waves would be 100.000-times faster than current systems. A light-matter interaction which could pave the way to such light-driven electronics has been investigated by scientists from the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), in collaboration with colleagues from the Chair for Laser Physics at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. The researchers sent intense laser pulses onto a tiny nanowire made of gold. The ultrashort laser pulses excited vibrations of the freely moving electrons in the metal. This resulted in electromagnetic ‘near-fields’ at the surface of the wire. The near-fields oscillated with a shift of a few hundred attoseconds with respect to the exciting laser field (one attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second). This shift was measured using attosecond light pulses which the scientists subsequently sent onto the nanowire.
- May 23, 2016
press release — Light waves might be able to drive future transistors. The electromagnetic waves of light oscillate approximately one million times in a billionth of a second, hence with petahertz frequencies. In principle also future electronics could reach this speed and become 100.000 times faster than current digital electronics. This requires a better understanding of the sub- atomic electron motion induced by the ultrafast electric field of light. Now a team of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and theorists from the University of Tsukuba combined novel experimental and theoretical techniques which provide direct access to this motion for the first time.
- February 4, 2016
press release — In the race to establish ever-faster electronics, light could play an important role. For instance, using light pulses of a precisely controlled waveform, physicists aim to switch electric currents in electronics circuits with light frequencies. But will electrons in such circuits follow light oscillations instantaneously? How fast will electrons react to the push of a “light-based” button? Or, from a more fundamental perspective: how fast do electrons bound in atoms, molecules or solids respond to light? Now, an international collaboration of physicists led by Dr. Eleftherios Goulielmakis, head of the research group “Attoelectronics” at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, researchers from Texas A&M University, USA, and the Lomonosov Moscow State University, " have been able to track the effect of this delay for the first time". By creating the first optical attosecond pulse and using it to set electrons in krypton atoms in motion, they discovered that it takes as long as 100 attoseconds for electrons to respond to the electromagnetic forces of light.
- January 19, 2016
press release — Those who want to explore the microcosm need exact control over laser light. Only with its help is it possible to explore electron motion and to influence their behavior. Now, scientists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU) have developed a measuring system that is able to determine laser pulses with a wide bandwidth in the infrared spectrum of light precisely. In the infrared wavelength range as short as 1200 nanometers this was only possible with the help of complex vacuum systems until now. The new system can be used for the precise generation of attosecond-duration light bursts for the exploration of atomic systems, as well as for the controlled dynamics of electrons in crystals.
- September 21, 2015
press release — Scientists often need to detect and measure levels of specific substances in a sea of irrelevant molecules, and infrared light offers an ideal tool for this task. Infrared radiation is invisible to the human eye, but molecules react with mid-infrared light in ways that are extremely sensitive to their precise atomic structure. This provides a means of identifying with great specificity molecular solutes present in very low concentrations. Lasers that generate light in the mid-infrared range suitable for use in molecular sensors are therefore the subject of intensive research. Now teams from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), in collaboration with the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona, have developed a unique source of coherent radiation for this purpose.
- September 18, 2015Workshop: »Future of Ultrashort Pulses«
short report — Workshop at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics Please find all information on the workshop at its website: www.future-of-ultrashort-pulses.de
- September 18, 2015Workshop on the future of ultrafast pulses
short report — At the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, »92 scientists gathered at a workshop« to discuss the future of ultrafast laser pulses. Cutting edge research and possibilities for technical developments were the central themes of discussions. A particular goal of the workshop was to bring together young scientists with renowned senior scientists in the field. The workshop is part of a series set to continue in 2016 and 2017. For more pictures from the workshop, visit MAP's Facebook page
- August 10, 2015
press release — The interaction of high-intensity laser light with solid targets could someday serve as the basis of table-top sources of high-energy ions for medical applications. An international team led by physicists of the LMU affiliated with the Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP), a Cluster of Excellence based in Munich, and in cooperation with scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has taken another step towards this goal. They have done so by boosting the efficiency of a technique that uses extremely intense pulses of laser light to eject packets of high-energy ions from diamond-like carbon foils. In their experiment, the researchers coated one side of the foil with carbon nanotubes. Upon laser irradiation, the layer acts like a lens to focus and concentrate the light energy on the foil, which results in the production of much more energetic ion beams. This makes experiments with high-energy carbon ions on cells feasible for the first time, and brings light-driven generation of ionizing radiation closer to practical application.
- June 17, 2015
press release — For over a century, medical imaging has made use of X-rays produced in a specialized type of vacuum tube. The major disadvantage of this method lies in the poor quality of the emitted radiation. The source emits radiation from a large spot into all directions and over a broad energy range. These features are responsible for the relatively modest resolution attainable with this mode of imaging. X-rays generated in synchrotrons provide much higher resolution, but their dimensions and cost preclude their routine use in clinical settings. However, an alternative approach is now available, for two laser pulses can generate X-rays of similar quality to synchrotron radiation in devices with a far smaller footprint: One pulse accelerates electrons to very high energy and the other forces them into an undulating motion. Under these conditions, electrons emit X-radiation that is both highly energetic (‚hard‘) and highly intense, and is therefore ideal for probing the microscopic structure of matter. Now, physicists based at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have developed such a laserdriven X-ray source for the first time. With the aid of two laser pulses, the researchers have generated ultrashort bursts of X-rays with defined wavelengths tailored for different applications. The new source can image structures of varying composition with a resolution of less than 10 micrometers. This breakthrough opens up a range of promising perspectives in materials science, biology and – in particular – medicine.
- May 5, 2015
press release — With the aid of extremely short and highly intense pulses of laser light, scientists have made great strides in their efforts to observe and control particle motions outside the confines of atomic nuclei. Indeed, the future of electronics lies in optical control of electron flows. That would enable data processing operations to be performed at frequencies equivalent to the rate of oscillation of visible light – some 100,000 times faster than is feasible with current techniques. To reach this goal, advances in laser technology are essential. Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP), which is run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), has developed a novel light source that brings the age of optoelectronics closer. The team describes the new instrument in the journal “Nature Communications”.