The research unit "High Field Photonics"

Resp. Dr. Leonida (Leo) A. Gizzi

Link to HIGH FIELD PHOTONICS (HFP) summary presentation slides

The research unit (commessa) on HIGH FIELD PHOTONICS (HFP) is one of the operational divisions of the Istitute of Chemical and Physical processes (IPCF). The role of the HFP unit is to provide a unique CNR interface for coordination of research capabilities, funding and evaluation of results in the field of intense and ultraintense laser sciences available at the Intense Laser Irradiation Laboratory, in coordination with the head of the ILIL Laboratory, A. Giulietti.

The research on HFP is part of the National project on Optics, Photonics and Plasmas coordinated by Prof. Massimo Inguscio within the CNR Department of Materials and Devices (MD), directed by Prof. Giancarlo Righini.

The HPF unit receives funding from the National Research Council for the partial support of general services (utilities, library, internet services, minor instrumentation maintenance). The research activity is mainly supported through Projects funded by external bodies including the Italian Ministry of research (MIUR), the European Union and other National Research Agencies and Institutes.

The research activity of the HFP research unit is focused on fundamental studies of high-intensity laser interactions with matter and their applications. Flexible high-power laser systems and multi-purpose interaction chambers are combined with the capability of performing high temporal resolution spectroscopy from the IR to the X-ray region.

Fundamental studies include plasma formation and heating by ultrashort laser pulses, laser-driven electron acceleration, atomic physics of highly-ionised plasmas and X-ray emission processes.

Main Topics:
Ultrafast X-ray Sources - Broadband Laser for ICF Strategic Studies - Laser-driven charged particle acceleration

Within the first task, the MIUR funded project1 entitled "Ultrafast X-ray Sources", deals with K-alpha sources from ultrfast laser interactions and focuses on the control of X-ray emission processes via the understanding of the dynamics of propagation of energetic electrons in the target substrate.
The second task, funded by the MIUR funded project2 BLISS-"Broadband Laser for Inertial Confinement Fusion Strategic Studies" aims at achieving high contrast, broadband laser pulses to be further amplified using conventional Chirped Pulse Amplification.

Highlight on National Collaborations

The High Field Photonics group is co-founder of the PLASMON-X project, promoted by IPCF in collaboration with the Physics Departments of the Universities of Pisa and Milano and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics to develop new schemes for the acceleration of charged particles and the generation of tunable, monochromatic hard X-ray radiation.

Key international collaborations

The HFP unit participates to the EU HiPER project, The European High Power Laser Energy research Facilty4. The HFP unit is also a partner of the EU COST programme on "Short Wavelength Laboratory Sources".

The HFP group has established collaboration with leading international Institutions. Within the framework of the European I3 initiative named LASERLAB3, the HFP group has a close collaboration with the Institute of Optics and Quantum Electronics of the Univ. of Jena (De), the SPAM of CEA at SACLAY (Fr) and the Central Laser facility at RAL (UK). Additional collaborations include the Fast Ignition Physics Group at Lawrence Livermore Natl. Laboratory (USA).

Main Recent Publications

A. Gamucci et al., Appl. Phys. B (2006).in press; T. Hosokai et al., Phys. Rev. E 73, 036407 (2006); L. Labate et al., Phys. Plasmas 12, 083101 (2005); P. Köster et al., Appl. Phys. B 80, 897-903 (2005); M. Galimberti et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 76, 053303 (2005), P. Tomassini et al., Appl. Phys. B 80, 419-436 (2005); D. Giulietti et al., Laser Part. Beams 23, 309-314 (2005); S. Laville et al., Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 538, 738 (2005); P.Squillacioti et al., Phys. Plasmas 11 226 (2004); L.A.Gizzi et al., Phys. Plasmas 10 4601 (2003); P. Tomassini et al., Phys. Plasmas 10 917 (2003).

1Ministry for Education, University and Research (
2Plasma Acceleration and Monochromatic X-ray Production (

3The Integrated Initiative of European Laser Infrastructures (
4 See the HiPER technical report on