SPARC PhD Award goes to Robert Klas


Robert Klas of Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of GSI, has received this year's PhD Award of the SPARC Collaboration. The SPARC PhD Award 2021 was presented online during the 18th workshop of the collaboration in September. The award was given in recognition of Klas's PhD thesis “Efficiency Scaling of High Harmonic Generation using Ultrashort Fiber Lasers”.

The work addresses high-power laser-driven sources in the XUV range as an alternative to large-scale light sources such as synchrotrons or free-electron lasers (FEL). These can be obtained, as Klas has shown, by high harmonic generation (HHG) of high average power ultrafast fiber lasers. Such laser-like XUV sources, which are less complex and more accessible to the user, nowadays find applications in lensless imaging or time-resolved spectroscopy. In particular, they can be combined with the storage ring facilities at GSI and FAIR for precision spectroscopy. This combination will enable unique research beyond today’s state of the art.

In this context, a proof-of-principle experiment targeting XUV photoionization of carbon ions based on a laser-driven table-top XUV source has been proposed, granted beam time, and conducted by the SPARC collaboration at CRYRING in 2019 and 2021. Klas provided groundbreakting contributions during his doctoral studies to enable XUV laser spectroscopy at heavy ion storage rings for the first time. The work was carried out at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, and the Helmholtz Institute Jena.

The SPARC PhD Award has been presented annually since 2018 and comes with a prize money of 200 euros. The award honors the best PhD thesis within the collaboration concerning atomic physics with heavy ions at the research facilities of GSI and FAIR. SPARC stands for Stored Particles Atomic Physics Research Collaboration. Currently, more than 400 members from 26 countries belong to the collaboration. They are experimenting with the existing atomic physics facilities at GSI and preparing new experiments and setups at the future FAIR accelerator. (CP)

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