6-11 July 2014, 5th Target Fabrication Workshop, St Andrews, Scotland

  • When Jul 06, 2014 09:00 AM to Jul 11, 2014 06:00 PM (Etc/GMT+2 / UTC-200)
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The fifth target fabrication workshop took place at St Andrews University, Scotland, 6-11 July 2014. A number of 60 delegates took part, originating from the UK, USA, Japan, Spain, Italy, Russia, France and Germany. The workshop was on various subjects all relevant to the laser community and included: cryogenic targets, high repetition-rate targets, porous target materials, new techniques for the production of spherical targets, target manipulation and micro engineering, and spectroscopy of materials related to laser targets.

Attendees included representatives from institutions and companies such as Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, St Andrews University, University of Michigan, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LULI, CEA, University of Darmstadt, Lebedev Physical Institute (Moscow), the Institute of Laser Engineering (Osaka), Tokyo Institute of Technology, Hamamatsu Corporation and Scitech Ltd.

Of particular significance was the format of the conference, which was conducted in presentation/workshop style, where delegates were encouraged to take part in questions and discussions after each presentation. Thus all the delegates had more chances to get involved in not just simple question-and-answer sessions, but also in real problem solving deliberations.

One other important aspect of this conference was that younger scientists were specifically encouraged to attend. As a result, more than 50% of the delegates were younger scientists and their contributions and the levels of complexity and quality of their research was outstanding. It is hoped that this will continue in the future and younger generations will contribute positively in this area of research, which is vitally important for the future of this field, or indeed any other field.

Among other subjects, several speakers addressed the topic of high repetition-rate targets needed for the future production of energy by means of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF). In this context, the low temperature laboratory of CEA in Grenoble developed a cryostat able to produce a continuous film of solid molecular hydrogen of some tens of microns in thickness and one millimetre in width. This type of target could be used to produce neutrons for ICF. Furthermore, representatives from Lebedev Physical Institute presented their ideas to use magnetic levitation as a means to manipulate cryogenic ICF targets, and another talk was about employing microfluidics to produce shells for the fuel pellets used in ICF.

In a survey conducted after the conference the feedback, not just for the workshop but also the venue and facilities, was very positive, particularly from the younger scientists. It was refreshing to note that younger scientists felt that their work was valued and considered important and they benefitted enormously from this workshop. Overall it was an extremely successful workshop.

One conclusion of the conference was that it would be useful to have more interaction between the designers of laser experiments and the materials people who are so heavily involved in realising the targets that make these experiments possible. For that purpose, the experimentalists should attend this type of conferences, so they can learn about the trends in target fabrication affecting their experiments.

This was the fifth target fabrication workshop and it was decided that if possible, this workshop should be organised again in two years' time with the same format encouraging younger scientists to attend. It goes without saying that all this would not have been possible without generous financial contributions from the sponsors, particularly from Laserlab-Europe. On behalf of all the delegates, I would like to thank all our sponsors.

Finally, the weather was agreeable as well, which always helps!

Wigen Nazarov
Chair of the local organising committee


Venue: University of St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews is a coastal medieval town situated in the county of Fife in Scotland, and the University celebrates its 600th anniversary in 2013. It has a wonderful atmosphere for meeting and exchanging ideas in a rich historic and cultural surrounding.

For more information, please contact , School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews.

>> Download the Book of Abstracts.