Call for experiments at the PHELIX facility in 2021/2022

We hereby invite you to submit experiment proposals in the framework of FAIR Phase-0 for the high-energy/high-power laser PHELIX. Subject of this 'Call' are experiment runs in the time between summer 2021 and spring 2022.

Groups working in the fields of atomic physics, plasma physics, extreme matter physics, and laser­particle acceleration are invited to submit research proposals for beam time at PHELIX. As experimental areas, the stations at PHELIX and Z6 are available 1. In total, approx. 170 shifts of PHELIX beam time can be offered, which correspond to roughly 8 to 9 experiments. Experiments granted in this call will run in the above-mentioned period after which the granted shifts will expire. In their meeting on October 5- 6, 2020, the PHELIX and plasma physics Program Advisory Committee (PPAC} will discuss the submitted proposals with a clear focus on scientific excellence and strategic issues. Questions arising will be communicated to the proposal's spokesperson with a preliminary evaluation, asking for a response within days. Accordingly, the PPAC will formulate their evaluation of proposals and recommend to the directorate granting beam time to the proposed experiments.

Please note that for plasma physics experiments using S/S18 (Target station HHT) proposals are to be submitted exc/usively in the 'Call' of G-PAC, open until June 10, 2020 ( For this, the web form given on the G-PAC web page has to be used.

Previously granted experiments that could not be carried out for technical reasons also have to be submitted and will be re-evaluated by the PPAC. Those scheduled experiments, which were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, should be resubmitted with their former experiment proposal and a short status report (not more than one page) which will be re-evaluated in terms of readiness and feasibility by the PPAC. However, they will keep their category of ranking.

Time Schedule / Applications

Proposals for the above mentioned beam time period can be submitted to the PPAC via the web form; deadline is July 27, 2020. Editing the application in the web form can be interrupted any time, and in a later session continued and finally submitted; you will receive an entrance key upon first data input. Prior to submitting a proposal please consult your local contact person about the technical feasibility of your planned experiment and please note that investments necessary for running the experiment cannot be covered by GSI. Moreover, please consider information given in the web form, e.g. on content and structure of the uploaded proposal text.

For additional or updated information, please consult the web page of PPAC:

Further details on the process from application until running of the experiment are given on the PHELIX web page:

Applicants eligible to the European program 'Laserlab-Europe' are encouraged to submit their applications additionally through Laserlab-Europe ( for obtaining financial support. Note that the application will be supported through the 5th installment of Laserlab: Laserlab V offers financial support for researchers from Europe and since 2016 for users from non-EU countries to some extent.

Technical Information

PHELIX can provide access for laser experiments in the PHELIX hall and alternatively at the Z6 target station. For technical information on the facilities, please refer to the webpage of the PHELIX laser system or contact the respective person responsible for the target station of interest:

PHELIX petawatt target area (PTA): B. Zielbauer, C. Brabetz, S. Zaehter

Z6 target area: A. Blazevic, D. Schumacher 

Further contact persons are:
Details on the laser and laser diagnostics: Vincent Bagnoud;
Access and support through Laserlab-Europe: Bernhard Zielbauer;
Proposal submission and meeting of the PPAC: Karin Füssel


Current Laser and Experimental Parameters

Laser Energy: the energy of the laser is adjusted depending on the configuration

  • At PTA, short pulses with up to 150 J in combination with an f = 40 cm, 45° parabola are available.
  • At PTA, short pulses with up to 80 J in combination with an f =150cm, 90° parabola are available.
  • At Z6, lang (1 - 10 ns) pulses with an energy of about 180 J (depending on pulse length) at 527 nm are available with an f=4 m focusing lens. Two random phase plates creating top-hat foci of 1 mm or 0.5 mm diameter are available.
  • At Z6, short pulses of 15 J at 1054 nm and a pulse duration of 500 fs are also available but not in parallel with the nanosecond beam.

Pulse profiles

  • The pulse duration at PHELIX is 500 fs by default. The pulse duration can be stretched to a few ps with on-line measurement. Above 3 ps, the pulse duration is set and calibrated off-line, but cannot be verified on-line.
  • The temporal contrast of PHELIX is adjustable between 10·7 and 10-11 (10·12 best effort). By default, the contrast will be set to10·7• The higher contrast values are obtained with a specific contrast-boosting module that represents the cutting edge of laser technology. lt is not a standard parameter and the proposal must explicitly request its use.
  • A programmable nanosecond front-end allows for pulses with a deterministic pulse profile with 1 ns resolution within a 1 Ons window.
  • At PT A, a combination of the lang and the short pulse can be requested to introduce a fully controllable pedestal. However, the timing jitter between the two frontends will be at least +/- 200 ps (peak-to-peak).

Further remarks

  • At PT A, it is possible to introduce apertures to create a double beam. In such a case, the total energy in both beams equals 60 J.
  • At Z6, a VISAR system (660nm, 70ns) is available.