P3 vacuum chamber for laser-plasma interaction experiments

The P3 vacuum chamber is one of the most important technological infrastructure elements in the research centre ELI Beamlines. It will be used for the experimental program in high-field laser-plasma interaction as well as high-energy density physics. The acronym P3 stands for Plasma Physics Platform.  It will be a flexible, multi-purpose experimental infrastructure for a wide variety of laser-plasma interaction experiments. The chamber will receive multiple, synchronized laser beams of various pulse length and energy in order to perform sophisticated pump-probe experiments.

The original design of the chamber was created by the scientists of the experimental team R5 and the experimental engineering team. The subsequent detailed design by the production company and its manufacture took almost two years. „This specific vacuum chamber for laser-plasma experiments is one of the largest constructed for civilian use,“ says Stefan Weber, the leader of the experimental team R5 at ELI Beamlines.

The height of the chamber is almost 3,5 m and its diameter almost 5 m, comprising a volume of ca. 50 m3. Special high-capacity pumps will be necessary to pump it down to a base pressure of 10-6 mbar. Due to issues related to radiation safety and activation, the chamber is constructed entirely of Aluminium and has an approximate weight of 14 tons.