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GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt, Germany
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GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany is an accelerator laboratory financed by the federal government (90%) and several federal states (10%). GSI is member of the Helmholtz Association. The PHELIX laser presently permits two types of operation: Pulses of a duration between 0.5 ns and 20 ns with a widely variable pulse shape and energies up to 1 kJ, and 0.5 ps short-pulse petawatt-class operation. One high-energy and one low-energy laser standalone target area is available, as well as a target area for combined laser / linear accelerator ion beam experiments with a dedicated 100 TW protonacceleration beamline. A second target area for the combination of laser long-pulse and synchrotron ion beam is under construction and planned to be available by 2021.

Excellence: What makes PHELIX world-wide unique is the combination of this laser with the GSI heavy-ion accelerator facility. The accelerator features the exceptional combination of the linear accelerator UNILAC, the synchrotron SIS and the storage ring ESR, delivering heavy ions with energies up to 1 GeV/u. The ESR heavy-in cooler-storage ring is the only facility world-wide which provides high-quality cooled beams of highly-charged heavy ions in a broad energy range, with long storage times and single-ion detection sensitivity. A dedicated target station for Laser/Heavy-ion experiments is in operation since spring 2008, a second one will be available by 2021.


- Towards highest peak intensities for ultra-short MeV-range ion bunches, S. Busold et al., Nature Scientific Reports 5, 12459 (2015)
- Studying the Dynamics of Relativistic Laser-Plasma Interaction on Thin Foils by Means of Fourier-Transform Spectral Interferometry, V. Bagnoud et al., Physical Review Letters 118, 255003 (2017)
- Maximum Proton Energy above 85 MeV from the Relativistic Interaction of Laser Pulses with Micrometer Thick CH2 Targets, F. Wagner et al., Physical Review Letters 116, 205002 (2016)
- Experimental discrimination of ion stopping models near the Bragg peak in highly ionized matter, W. Cayzac et al., Nature Communications 8, 15693 (2017)