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Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée, Palaiseau, France

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Contact: Philippe Zeitoun Email


Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée (LOA) is a major laser infrastructure conducting research with a broad spectrum in ultrafast laser-plasma science. It includes the development of intense femtosecond laser sources, the study of laser-matter interaction and plasma physics, the production of compact sources of ultrafast energetic radiations and particles as well as the use of these sources for societal, academic and industrial applications. LOA belongs to three institutions: Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Avancées (ENSTA-IP Paris), Ecole Polytechnique-IP Paris and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). On average, 85 persons worked at LOA with about 30 permanent researchers and associated. LOA has a wide network of collaborations in France, in Europe and abroad.

Excellence: LOA has been recognized for 30 years as a research centre for fundamental and applied physics in ultrafast science, with the mission to understand and reveal the properties of the matter under strong excitation and at the shortest time or space scales. To excite, control and probe at the highest resolution, teams have developed researches in non-linear ultrafast optics and laser-plasma physics with a long-standing tradition to perform applications in other academic fields as well as in addressing key societal issues. Quality of the research in the laboratory is based on highly competitive teams, with scientists being among the international leaders of their field. They have a clear understanding of key technical and scientific challenges that may be addressed in these fast-evolving topics: femtosecond intense laser systems, laser-plasma accelerators, laser plasma x-ray sources, laser-plasma filaments, space & time ultra high-resolution imaging with laser-plasma based sources, societal applications of laser-plasmas (radiobiology at high dose, non-destructive testing, medical x-ray imaging, laser-plasma filaments technology).


- Formation dynamics of excited neutral nitrogen molecules inside femtosecond laser filaments, Danylo, X. Zhang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 243203 (2019)
- Spectral and spatial shaping of a laser-produced ion beam for radiation-biology experiments, L. Pommarel et al., Phys. Rev. Acc. And Beams, 20, 3 (2017)
- Stable femtosecond X-rays with tunable polarization from a laser-driven accelerator, A. Döpp et al., Light Science and Applications 6, e17086 (2017)
- Table-top femtosecond soft X-ray laser by collisional ionization gating, A. Depresseux et al., Nature Photonics 9, 817–821 (2015) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2015.225
- Relativistic electron beams driven by kHz single-cycle light pulses, D. Guénot et al., Nature Photonics 11, 293 (2017)
- Passive coherent combining of CEP-stable few-cycles pulses from a temporally divided hollow fiber compressor, H. Jacqmin et al., Optics Letters 40, 709 (2015)
- Demonstration of relativistic electron beam focusing by a laser-plasma lens, C. Thaury et al., Nature Communications 6, 6860 (2015)