LIDYL (Saclay, France)

Located in Saclay, France, LIDYL is a fundamental research laboratory whose activities focus on radiation-matter interaction and applications. LIDYL's research programs cover the study of both electronic and nuclear dynamics, in the gas and condensed phases, from the simplest atomic and molecular systems to the most complex ones (biomolecules and nano-objects) and to laser-created plasmas using high-intensity fs lasers.
Research highlights

Laboratoire Interactions, Dynamique et Lasers/
Saclay Laser matter Interaction Centre (LIDyL/SLIC),
CEA, Saclay, France

LIDYL’s laser facilities:

Contact: Catalin Miron


Demonstration of a new technique able to quantify the decoherence effects in attosecond metrology based on laser-dressed photoemission spectroscopy [Phys. Rev. X 10, 031048 (2020)].

Condensed Matter

Through a collaboration between the LIDYL and the University of Cergy-Pontoise (group of Karol Hricovini), spin-dependent photoemission dynamics were identified at the femtosecond time scale in tungsten telluride. These experiments shine new light on the very nature of this material, suspected to be a type II Weyl semimetal [Phys. Rev. Research 2, 013261 (2020)].

Secondary sources (High Harmonics)

A collaboration between LIDYL, IOGS-LCF and XLIM laboratories and the NOVAE SME demonstrated the use of nanopatterned semiconducting crystals to control simultaneously the focusing and orbital angular momentum of short wavelength femtosecond radiation from a high repetition rate mid infrared laser.  This opens the way to on-demand tailoring of XUV pulses to address various physical problems, such as chiral properties of molecules or femtomagnetism [Optics Letters 44, 546 (2019)].

Plasma physics

The interaction of ultraintense femtosecond laser pulses with dense plasmas has been investigated in highly-controlled conditions. The different mechanisms of coupling between the plasma and the laser beam have been identified, revealing a transition from a periodic dynamic to a chaotic one as the steepness of the plasma-vacuum interface is varied [Phys. Rev. X 9, 011050 (2019)].

Projects performed by external users >>

Further application highlights

Lasers and Metrology


© Ph. Stroppa/CEA
UHI100 laser facility (front end)

LIDYL activities span a broad range of research topics, from the development of ultrafast lasers and the metrology of extreme light (briefness, intensity, polarization, or angular momentum). The achievement of ultrahigh intensities on target and of trains or isolated ultrashort laser pulses are among the key R&D objectives of LIDYL. In parallel, research is carried out to explore the structure and ultrafast dynamics of species ranging from isolated atoms, molecules and nanoparticles, to solids and plasmas.

These studies can be classified in two major classes.  On the one hand, research is undertaken using short-pulse (femtosecond/attosecond) and high-intensity/high-contrast lasers to study the fundamentals of radiation-matter interaction: particle acceleration, high-harmonic spectroscopy, attosecond photoionization dynamics, XUV coherent diffraction imaging, laser-solid interaction at high intensity, femtochemistry and ultrafast dynamics / nonlinear X-ray science at Free Electron Lasers, to only cite a few. On the other hand, photophysical and photochemical studies of biologically relevant molecular systems in the condensed phase, laser spectroscopy and quantum chemistry based structural characterization and dynamics of biomolecular systems in the gas phase, spin dynamics in magnetic materials, and studies of materials response to optical excitations for photovoltaics applications are also carried out. These activities are sometimes developed in collaboration with leading research groups from France, in particular from Paris-Saclay University and other strategic partners, but also in the framework of international collaborations with groups from Europe, Korea, Japan, Russian Federation or the USA.

Services for industry

Expertise in the domain of coherent lensless imaging, e.g. used by a company to demonstrate the feasibility of visible ptychography for non-destructive control of manufactured motor parts.

  • Expertise in the domain of wave front sensing in the SWIR domain. A two photon scheme has been proposed and validated by a company using LIDYL facility using a low cost CCD Si camera instead of InGAs technology. Based on this technology, the company considers creating a new competitive product for SWIR wavefront sensing of femtosecond lasers.
  • In another case, the expertise helped a company to characterize the pulse duration of their 2µm femtosecond fiber laser using a FROG developped in-house at LIDYL.
  • Expertise in the domains of temporal contrast, CEP stability and spatio-temporal coupling measurements. The offer consists in helping companies to characterise some advanced parameters of the lasers developed or integrated. LIDYL can also help defining measurement protocols.

Expertise for the design of XUV beamlines. The offer consists, e.g., in providing expertise to a company that has being selected to provide an XUV beamline.


Laser developments - Expertise in the domain of the CEP stabilisation of highly stretched CPA TiSa lasers. 

For more information, contact the Laserlab Office.

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Equipment offered to external users

© Ph. Stroppa/CEA
ATTOLAB facility (SE1 XUV beamline)

LIDYL combines a series of complementary ultrafast lasers and advanced experimental workstations to study a large variety of ultrafast phenomena in gas, solids and plasma.

The UHI100 laser (100 TW, 25 fs, 10Hz) is ideal to study laser-plasma interactions at ultra-high intensity. Based on CPA Titanium-Sapphire amplifiers, UHI100 features a very high contrast (>1012 on the ns time scale) and high intensity (up to 5.1019W/cm2). Users can choose between two interaction configurations: a 100 TW beam or 2 synchronous 50 TW beams (new feature operational from mid-2021). A probe beam is also supplied and a double plasma mirror is available for both high power beams. The main fields of research investigated with UHI100 encompass relativistic optics (in particular relativistic plasma mirrors), plasma physics, production of laser-accelerated particle beams (protons and electrons) and radiation sources, as well as the applications of these sources, in particular in the medical field with the study of flash irradiations. 

Access is also offered to the ATTOLab XUV femto/attosecond facility. ATTOLab associates the CEP stabilized FAB1-10 laser (25fs, 20W@10kHz and 15W@1kHz) with 2 XUV beamlines (15-100eV) based on high harmonic generation that provide fs/as pulses with adjustable bandwidths and pulse energy up to 100nJ at 1kHz or 10nJ at 10kHz. State-of-the-art experimental stations operated by LIDYL or its partners, are available on the two XUV beamlines. For gas phase studies, COLTRIMS (D. Dowek, ISMO, Université Paris-Saclay), VMI and magnetic bottle spectrometers allow studying a large variety of ultrafast processes in atomic and molecular gases, as well as in clusters/nanoparticles. These range from nonadiabatic dynamics and attosecond charge migration in femto/attochemistry, to photoionization/recombination dynamics in weak/strong field. The solid-state endstation comprises two instruments: the FastMap (M. Marsi, LPS, Université Paris-Sud) high resolution ARPES electron spectrometer and a Time-of-Flight Spin analyzer allowing for time and spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (K. Hricovini, LPMS, Université de Cergy-Pontoise). A large range of attosecond dynamics in condensed phase can be investigated, such as ultra-fast spin/magnetization dynamics, electron-hole dynamics, electron transport, structural dynamics or solid-strong field interaction.

For studies requiring higher repetition rates, LIDYL offers access to the NANOLIGHT facility based on a 100kHz Ytterbium fiber laser pumping an OPCPA (1.8 µm , 40 fs, 15 µJ + 2.4 µm, 80 fs, 13 µJ). A XUV beamline with photon energies up to 60 eV at 100 kHz and ancillary equipment are also available for a large range of applications such as strong field physics in semiconductors and dielectrics, high order harmonic generation in crystals, ultrafast nanoplasmonics, ultrafast nanoscale lensless imaging, wave front sensing and lithography.

Finally, access is also offered to the up-conversion facility, a rare set-up that allows studying time-resolved emission spectra of molecules in the condensed phase over the visible and UV regions. Fluorescence in the spectral range from 300 to 800 nm can be recorded with an apparatus function of about 200 fs for 400 nm excitation and about 350 fs FWHM for 267 nm excitation.