Our researchers are investigating how high density plasmas produced by laser irradiation can be used to simulate astrophysical plasma expansion and to understand plasma properties (such as opacity).
As well as supporting fundamental sciences, we work closely with industrial partners to explore how our findings can be adapted for their use. This includes using plasma-based particle acceleration to produce x-ray sources for port security, pulse-laser deposition to create thin-film materials such as metal oxides and extreme ultraviolet light laser to create computer chips.
Laser plasmas explained
High power lasers focused onto solid or sometimes gaseous targets are used to produce plasmas. These plasmas rapidly expand, but interesting high density states of matter are briefly produced. Laser-plasmas are sources for high energy particles (electrons and ions) and bright emitters of x-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light.