Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation des Lasers Intenses

Director: Patrick AUDEBERT
Location: Ecole Polytechnique, UPMC
Keywords: Plasma Physics, Atomic Physics, X-ray Spectroscopy and Non-equilibrium Radiative Properties of Matter.
logo LULI
LULI is an academic research center specialised in High Energy Density Plasma Physics (HEDPP). The expertise of the laboratory is far-reaching: it involves plasmas produced by high energy density lasers, laser-matter and laser-plasma interaction in the ns and ps regime, atomic physics of hot plasmas and investigations of non-equilibrium radiative propoerties, hydrodynamics of laser produced plasmas and equations of state at high pressures, Warm Dense Matter (WDM), the physics of particle and photon sources, the development of new laser technologies and high energy density matter produced by XUV- and X-ray Free Electron Lasers. The general contexts of applications on which many of these studies are conducted are Laboratory Astrophysics and Planetology and Fusion by Inertial Confinement. The mission of LULI involves also the development of laser infrastructures including radiation sources:
  • The exploitation of  two main infrastructures LULI200, and ELFIE. These laser facilities are intermediate between very large national projects (such as LMJ) and  small laser with high repetition rate but less energy (some Joules), and are in that sense unique.
  • An exceptional feature of the LULI installations are the possibilities to employ powerful multi-laser beams for advanced research and applications.
  • Applied studies, such as development of coherent and incoherent radiation sources, energetic particle sources, spectroscopy and diagnostics.

LULI is affiliated to CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and the Center for Atomic Energy (CEA). Since 1975 it is labelled as « Très Grand Èquipement National ». It is member of the I3 LASERLAB-EUROPE, including  the main European laser facilities, and  a member of the “Fédération de Recherche de L’Institut Laser Plasma”. The Laboratory has two teams involved in Plas@Par:

Atomic Physics in Dense Plasmas (PAPD)

Team Leader: François Rosmej

PAPD has a long standing expertise in atomic physics in dense plasmas, X-ray spectroscopy and radiative properties of hot plasmas. The group has conducted numerous experiments at different installations: high energy optical laser, XUV-Free Electron laser, Z-pinch, X-pinch, plasma focus, vacuum spark, tokamak, magnetized plasmas, heavy ion beams. The group supports the development of high-resolution x-ray diagnostics and the exploration of the 4th generation of light sources (XUV- and X-ray Free Electron Lasers) for high energy density physics research.

Theory and Interpretation, Plasma and Simulations (TIPS)

Team Leader: Caterina Riconda
Location: Jussieu UPMC campus.

Theory and Interpretation, Plasma and Simulations The LULI group TIPS is a theory and simulation group that disposes of a number of different codes, in order to tackle different problems at different levels of detail. The group is specialized in Particle-in-Cell codes, Hydro codes, Hybrid codes, atomic physics. Some of the topics are studied are:  

Modeling matter under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure relevant for the interior of planets, kinetic studies of laser-plasma interaction with application to Inertial Confinement Fusions, amplification of ultra-short light pulse by strong coupling stimulated Brillouin scattering and low-frequency waves in plasmas, laser-overdense plasma coupling at the surface, surface waves excitation.
The group is also specialized in modeling of experiments relevant for Laboratory astrophysics, studies of jet formation and collimation, interpenetration of two magnetized jets. Finally the group is developing an expertise in new mechanisms of electron and ion acceleration and laser-plasma interaction in the ultra-high-intensity regime. 
Regarding this last point, the group is  implementing in an appropriate simulation code the physical model necessary to the description of new regimes available in the future, with particular attention to  the framework of the CILEX Apollon project. The code is called SMILEI, a modern, robust and flexible multi dimensional code with hybrid MPI/OpenMP parallelization. It is written in C++ is aimed as a collaborative open-source project.

Intense Particles & Radiation Sources (SPRINT)

Team Leader:  J. Fuchs

The SPRINT group (which stands for “Intense Particles & Radiation Sources”) is pursuing, in collaboration with many international groups (EU, USA, UK, Germany, Russia, Japan), several research avenues in the general frame of two main types of plasma: (1) “thermal” (as in the Sun where matter is heated to millions of degrees), and (2) “beam-like” (as in particle accelerators where particles are given enormous forward directed energy). The SPRINT group focuses on experimental investigations of matter in those various states, as well as considering which applications can be drawn from such extreme matter states. These applications range from exploiting plasmas for handling light or particles, to mimicking fusion or star-forming phenomena in the laboratory. Among recent highlights, we can cite that we have strongly pushed the development of new tools based on ultra-intense lasers by opening up the field of “damageless optics”, i.e. optics & laser components (e.g. amplifiers) using dense plasmas in order to circumvent the damage threshold limitation of traditional optics. In parallel, we are pushing to explore the rich, although little explored, physics opportunities offered by magnetizing dense laser-plasmas. Using a world-wide unique stable, strong external magnetic field source that can be coupled to laser produced plasmas, we could recently demonstrate a mechanism proposed theoretically to explain the long-range stability of astrophysical jets [Science 2014]. We are now pursuing actively the investigation of magnetic confinement of plasmas for astrophysics, but also for fusion physics.