LLE to Provide Laser for Matter in Extreme Conditions Upgrade Project at the National Accelerator Laboratory

February 18, 2022

The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester and Stanford University have reached an agreement for LLE to provide a state-of-the-art laser for an upgrade to the Matter in Extreme Conditions (MEC) station at the National Accelerator Laboratory operated by Stanford University. Funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences Program, the MEC-Upgrade (MEC-U) Project will add a high-energy, long-pulse laser and a petawatt short-pulse laser to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC, the first hard x-ray free-electron laser facility (XFEL).

The high-energy, long-pulse laser provided by LLE will employ proven laser technology developed and demonstrated at the laboratory. The laser will include flexible temporal pulse shaping and beam smoothing technology to enable high-precision studies of matter in extreme conditions of temperature and pressure.

With this multiyear contract, expected to total more than $17 million, LLE becomes a partner in the MEC-U Project with SLAC and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who will provide a petawatt laser.

“We are very honored to join the MEC-Upgrade team,” says Mike Campbell, director of the LLE. “Combining these advanced lasers with the unique x-ray sources provided by SLAC’s XFEL will enable world-leading science. We appreciate the SLAC leadership’s confidence and recognition of LLE’s outstanding laser capabilities.”

“We are delighted to partner with the world-leading team at LLE Rochester,” says Mike Dunne, director of LCLS. “Their experience in advanced laser technology and its integration into scientific user facilities provides an ideal basis for driving this major leap in capability.”

SLAC Laser System

Matter in Extreme Conditions station at the National Accelerator Laboratory: LLE will be providing the kJ Laser located between the Main Experimental Area and the 10-Hz Petawatt Laser