On November 15 and 16, the IR Apollon scientific committee met at the Institut d’Optique Graduate School. The scientific perspectives of the Research Infrastructure were discussed in attendance after a presentation of the current and future performance of the facility.

During the programming committee of June 30, 2021, 5 experiences were selected among the 12 proposals made following the call for projects.

List of the selected projects

The commissioning of the “short focal length” area of the Apollon laser facility using the presently available F2 beam, took place in May 2021 and show-cased both the very good characteristics of the laser and the operational capacity of the room. This commissioning took place with laser pulses of 10 J average on-target energy and pulse durations of 25 fs. A range of diagnostics was in place in order to qualify the performance of the facility at this level of laser power. An imager, working in X-ray range, of the zone heated by the laser on the target demonstrated a very good focusing of the laser at full power, with a heated spot of the same order as the laser spot aligned at low flux. It was possible to shoot solid targets as thin as 2 µm in thickness, without damaging them by the pedestal preceding the main pulse, which corresponds to very good temporal contrast characteristics. Emissions of electrons, ions and high energy electromagnetic radiation were recorded, showing good laser-target coupling and an overall performance that is very consistent with what have been reported by similar international facilities.
Link toward a paper detailing the results and submitted for publication.

Apollon Research infrastructure Opening This Tuesday March 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. took place the “APOLLON OPENING” WEBINAR, bringing together more than 100 participants representing the international community of future users of the Apollon Research infrastructure. During this Webinar, the laser performances on target, the experimental rooms made available for this first year of opening were presented in detail. Access rules and the mission profile were also able to be presented and discussed. This webinar also provided the opportunity to present the virtual tour of the research infrastructure available here. All of the presentations made during this webinar are available here. This webinar also introduced the call for projects which will be published by the end of March 2020.

In June 2020, the CNRS awarded a Cristal Collectif to part of the Apollon project team for the year 2020 for the passage of the so-called 1PW milestone with the achievement of a shot at 22.6 Joules and 21.5 fs. The CNRS Cristal Collectif distinguishes teams of men and women, research support staff, who have carried out projects whose technical mastery, collective dimension, applications, innovation and influence are particularly remarkable. This distinction rewards the Laboratoire d’Utilisation des Lasers Intenses (LULI UMR 7605) which since 2011 has first developed and then implemented the laser for the Apollon research infrastructure. The first and last names of the winning agents are as follows: François MATHIEU (project manager), Dimitrios PAPADOPOULOS (laser installation manager), Jean-Michel BOUDENNE (design office manager), Luc MARTIN (laser operations manager), Audrey BELUZE (laser compression manager), Antoine FRENEAUX (laser amplification manager) ), Nathalie LEBAS (front end manager), Fouad ELHAI (mechanical design), Jean Philippe DELANEAU (vacuum and safety manager), Daniel CAVANNA (electronics, motorization). Through them, it is not only all the staff of the various technical teams of LULI, permanent or CDD, who contributed to this achievement, but also the staff of partner laboratories who were involved in the realization of this project since its inception in 2007, whose work and excellence are recognized.