CLPU (Salamanca, Spain)

CLPU operates VEGA, a multi Terawatt laser system composed by three independent and synchronised 30 fs long Ti:Sa based-laser pulses: VEGA-3 of 1 PW (at 1Hz), VEGA- 2 of 200 TW and VEGA-1 of 20 TW (both up to 10 Hz). Besides its architecture, the uniqueness of VEGA is that it is a petawatt-class laser system of high-repetition rate.

Research highlights

Centro de Laseres Pulsados /
Center for Pulsed Lasers, Salamanca, Spain


Contact: Javier Sastre Porcherie, Project Manager

Proton sources

Generation of high energy laser-driven electron and proton sources with the 200 TW system VEGA-2 at the Centro de Láseres Pulsados [High Power Laser Sci. Eng. 7, e25 (2019)]

Laser Particle applications

Integrated quantitative PIXE analysis and EDX spectroscopy using a laser-driven particle source [Science Advances 7, eabc8660 (2021)]

Electrons and X-ray radiation beams

Generation of high energy laser-driven electron and proton sources with the 200 TW system VEGA-2 at the Centro de Láseres Pulsados [High Power Laser Sci. Eng. 7, e25 (2019)]

Off axis spiral phase mirrors for generating high-intensity optical vortices [Opt. Lett. 45, 2187-2190 (2020)]

Laser-Plasma Diagnostics:

Soft X-Ray measurements with a gas detector coupled to microchips in laser-plasma experiments at VEGA-2 [J. Instrum. 15, C02006 (2020)]

Development of an adjustable Kirkpatrick-Baez microscope for laser driven X-ray sources [Rev. Sci. Instrum. 90, 063704 (2019)]

Liquid target system © CLPU

A 2D scintillator-based proton detector for high repetition rate experiments [High Power Laser Sci. Eng. 7, e60 (2019)]

Characterization, and Modelling Ultrashort Laser-Driven Electromagnetic Pulses Sources [Scientific Reports 10, 3108 (2020)]

Spectral characterization of laser-accelerated protons with CR-39 nuclear track detector [Revi. Sci. Instrum. 89, 023302 (2018)]

Diagnostics for High-intensity laser

Towards an in-situ, full power gauge of the focal-volume intensity of petawatt-class lasers [Opt. Express 27, 30020 (2019)]

Further applications include
  • Laser-driven neutrons for imaging applications
  • Targetry for HRR experiments

Projects performed by external users >>

Further application highlights

Lasers and Metrology Lasers for Fusion Energy

Experimental set-up for VEGA © CLPU

The Centro de Láseres Pulsados is the key Spanish user facility specialized in high-intensity ultrashort lasers included in the strategic National Roadmap of Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS). Its main mission is to promote scientific and technological development by offering national and international user access to its laser system VEGA, successfully commissioned in 2017 (the 200 TW VEGA-2), and in 2019 (the PW VEGA-3).

VEGA is offered to users with several modes of operation related to the selection of the synchronized lines, the repetition rate (single-shot, burst or nominal frequency or dividers modes,) and the energy (high or low). Moreover, the users have other complementary systems: a CEP laser system that adds an output of 6 fs pulses to the 30 fs laser VEGA allowing ‘pump-probe’ type experiments using a very short duration VUV or XUV system as a ‘probe’; a Quanta Ray laser system that can be synchronized with VEGA’s repetition rate, delivering 1ns/1J pulses, and a highly specialized metrology bench for analysing the laser beam just before it enters the target area.

Particle acceleration, laser metrology, targetry and diagnostic of ultra-short and high-repetition rate PW-class lasers, and generated secondary sources (electron, proton and betatron X-ray) are the main subject of investigations at CLPU. The scientific division, supported by the CLPU laser-plasma Chair at the University of Salamanca, is involved in a research programme encompassing the secondary sources’ development and their employment in high density and intense laser-plasma interactions, material science, detectors’ development, nuclear physics etc…

Equipment offered to external users

VEGA is a Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) system based on Titanium-Sapphire technology with a unique architecture with three outputs (with different powers) synchronized by a unique front-end.

The VEGA-3 system © CLPU

Table of outputs from the VEGA laser

Complementary equipment to VEGA


The CEP Laser is a 4th generation Femtopower system that offers ultrashort pulses (23 fs after amplifier) and few cycle pulses (5 fs or less after hollow core fibre post-compression) with carrier envelope phase stabilised and energy in the range of mJ. It works a central wavelength around 800 nm, in the near-infrared range; and in a spectral band around 50 nm FWHM (after amplifier) and > 200 nm (oscillator and after compression).

Information on the CEP stabiliser

Other Information

The Centro de Láseres Pulsados has other important complementary facilities to VEGA that researchers can use to have a higher control over the performance of their experiments:

  • Electro-mechanical workshop, where we can design and produce customized pieces for users’ experimental set-ups.
  • ULAMP Service (Ultrashort Laser Applications and Micromaterial Processing), a lab with a fs Spitefire laser system that provides a laser beam specially characterized for micromaterial processing. It supports basically the development in targetry and diagnostic devices.
  • Microscopy Unit that has a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and an optical microscope, adding values to the performance of the experiments at CLPU.