Application programmes at the Scottish centre for the application of plasma-based accelerators (SCAPA)

Wiggins, S. M. and Boyd, M. and Brunetti, E. and Butler, N. M. H. and Feehan, J. S. and Gray, R. J. and Hidding, B. and Ireland, D. G. and Li, W. and Maitrallain, A. and Manahan, G. G. and McKenna, P. and O'Donnell, D. and Scheck, M. and Shahzad, M. and Sheng, Z.-M. and Spesyvtsev, R. and Vieux, G. and Watts, D. P. and Welsh, G. H. and Wilson, R. and Zachariou, N. and Jaroszynski, D. A. (2019) Application programmes at the Scottish centre for the application of plasma-based accelerators (SCAPA). In: Proceedings of SPIE. SPIE, Bellingham, Washington.

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    Abstract

    The Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) is a research facility dedicated to providing high energy particle beams and high peak brightness radiation pulses for users across a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines. A pair of Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser systems (40 TW peak power at 10 Hz pulse repetition rate and 350 TW at 5 Hz, respectively) are the drivers for a suite of laser-plasma accelerator beamlines housed across a series of radiation shielded areas. The petawatt-scale laser delivers 45 W of average power, which has established it as a world leader in its class. The University of Strathclyde has had an operational laser wakefield accelerator since 2007 as the centrepiece of the on-going Advanced Laser Plasma High-energy Accelerators towards X-rays (ALPHA-X) project. SCAPA, which is a multi-partner venture supported by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, continues the dedicated beamline approach pioneered by ALPHA-X and represents a significant expansion in the UK’s experimental capability at the university level in laser-driven acceleration. The new centre supports seven dedicated radiation beamlines across three shielded bunkers that each nominally specialise in different aspects of fundamental laser-plasma interaction physics and radiation sources: GeV-scale electron beams, MeV proton and ion beams, X-rays, gamma rays etc. Development of application programmes based on these sources cover a wide range of fields including nuclear physics, radiotherapy, space radiation reproduction, warm dense matter, high field physics and radioisotope generation.