FAIR Phase-0 - Call for Experiment Porposals at PHELIX in 2022/2023


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 2022 and spring 2023. Proposals are to be submitted via the platform GATE by September 28, 2021.

Experiments at our laser facility Petawatt High-Energy Laser for Heavy Ion EXperiments (PHELIX) cover a variety of research fields, e.g. atomic physics, plasma physics, extreme matter physics, laser-particle acceleration. In the present call the experimental areas (target stations) at PHELIX and Z6 are available and a total of approx. 170 shifts of PHELIX beam time can be offered corresponding to roughly 8 to 9 experiments. This round does not include experiments with ions; a ‘call’ for those is planned for 2022.

Previously granted experiments that could not be carried out for technical reasons have to be submitted and will be re-evaluated by the PPAC.

Time Schedule

The ‘Call’ for beamtime proposals is open from July 15 to September 28, 2021.

Should questions on technical feasibility, safety issues etc. arise after the submission, our staff will contact the spokesperson (proposer) by E-mail to clarify these points before the advisory committee meeting. In their meeting on December 6-7, 2021, the PHELIX and Plasma Physics Program Advisory Committee (PPAC) will discuss the received proposals with a clear focus on scientific excellence and strategic issues. Questions arising in those discussion 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 and recommend granting beamtime to the proposed experiments to the directorate. Experiments granted([1]) in this round will run in the above-mentioned period. Granted shifts will expire after this period.

(New) Application Procedure

We have implemented a new platform for the processes involved in user beamtime. In this "General Access Tool to the Experimental lnfrastructures of GSI" (GATE) registered users for example can see all proposals in which they are involved - unsubmitted, active and finished ones - and get information on their open tasks. Please start editing your proposal weil in advance and get acquainted with GATE!

Weblink to GATE: https://gate.gsi.de

Note: All participants of a proposal need to register([2]) in GATE and mark in their settings that they want to appear in other users’ search results. Thus, during editing the proposal the Proposer can add them to the respective proposal. Information on all participants is urgently needed for statistics given to our funding agencies. Registration in GATE and being searchable for other users is also a prerequisite for experimentalists running the experiment([3]).

Proposal Submission:

Editing a proposal can be interrupted any time and continued later. Please follow the instructions in the platform and in the short GATE manual carefully, incl. on structure and content of the uploaded proposal text. Should you encounter any problems, please contact GATE-Help(at)gsi.de.

We urgently ask you to consult your Link Scientist (formerly: local contact person; to be chosen in form "Technical requirements") on your entries in the forms and on details of your planned experiment well before submitting the application (e.g. one month before deadline): After submission correcting your request is not possible. Please consider that close to submission deadline the Link Scientists might not be available.

Please note that GSI does not cover the consumables and investments necessary for running an experiment.

For additional or updated information, please consult the web page of PPAC: www.gsi.de/ppac.

Further details on the process from application until running of the experiment are given on the PHELIX web page: www.gsi.de/phelix/beamtime.

Applicants eligible to the European funding program 'Laserlab-Europe' are encouraged to submit their applications additionally through Laserlab-Europe (www.laserlab-europe.eu/transnational-access) for obtaining financial support. Indicating your interest in this funding during proposal submission serves as internal information only and does not replace a dedicated funding application at Laserlab-Europe. Note that the application will be supported through the 5th installment of Laserlab: Laserlab V offers financial support for researchers from Europe, and for users from non-EU countries to some extent.

Technical Information & Contacts

PHELIX can provide access for laser experiments in the PHELIX hall and alternatively at the Z6 target station. For this call, we offer also a new target area for laser experiment (HHT). For technical information on the facilities, please refer to the web page of the PHELIX laser system (www.gsi.de/phelix/beamtime) or contact the respective person responsible for the target station of interest:

petawatt target area (PTA): V. Bagnoud (v.bagnoud(at)gsi.de), P. Neumayer (p.neumayer(at)gsi.de)

x-ray laboratory:  V. Bagnoud (v.bagnoud(at)gsi.de), P.Neumayer (p.neumayer(at)gsi.de)

Z6 target area:    A. Blazevic (a.blazevic(at)gsi.de), D. Schumacher (de.schumacher(at)gsi.de)

HHT target area: P. Neumayer (p.neumayer(at)gsi.de)


Further contacts:

Details on the laser and laser diagnostics: Vincent Bagnoud (v.bagnoud(at)gsi.de);

Access and support through Laserlab-Europe: Diana Lang (d.lang(at)gsi.de);

PPAC Scientific Secretary: Karin Füssel (k.fuessel(at)gsi.de);


We are looking forward to an exciting science program!


[1] Beamtime is granted at no charge within the framework of the Helmholtz Association: “Rahmenrichtlinie über die Nutzung von Forschungsanlagen der Helmholtz-Zentren durch Dritte” (1.3.2000), §II. 1.2. GSI/FAIR need to report to funding agencies on user operation and user communities in form of statistical data.

[2] General Data Protection Regulation GDPR (according to Art. 13 and 14 DSGVO): Staff Management Board GDPR english

[3] Indicated Co-Proposers during proposal submission include all participants of the proposal. Experimentalists coming on campus for running the experiment are entered only later upon scheduling of granted experiments.

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 140 J in combination with an f = 40 cm, 45° parabola are available.
  • At PTA, short pulses with up to 70 J in combination with an f =150cm, 90° parabola are available.
  • At Z6, long (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.
  • Newly commissioned beamline from PHELIX to HHT: long pulses (1 – 10 ns) with an energy up to 200 J (on best effort basis and depending on pulse length, for example: max. 100 J in 2 ns.) at 527 nm are available with an f = 1.8 m focusing lens (F/13). Beam diameter 150 mm with main focal spot 20µm (FWHM), most of the energy contained in ~60 µm diameter spot.

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 10-11 (10-12 best effort). It is verified offline before every beam time.
  • A programmable nanosecond front-end allows for pulses with a deterministic pulse profile with 500 ps resolution within a 10ns window. The pulse length must not be shorter than 1.5 ns.
  • At PTA, a combination of the long 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 PTA, it is possible to introduce apertures to create a double beam. In such a case, the energy cannot exceed 30 J per beam.
  • At Z6, a VISAR system (660nm, 40ns) is available.