Header Forschung

Institute of Radiation Physics

The Institute of Radiation Physics at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf conducts research in the areas of matter and health. It operates the ELBE center for high power radiation sources where advanced accelerator research, laser plasma as well as superconducting radio-frequency technology based, meet user facility support for outstanding basic and applied research with electron beam driven pulsed high field THz, IR-FEL, positron, neutron, and gamma sources.

Leading research in accelerator and high power laser physics is complemented by development in novel detection and measurement techniques. These range from XFEL probing of ultra-fast dynamics of high energy density states of matter over positron based materials research to applications. In order to investigate the interaction of high power lasers with matter the Titanium:Sapphire laser Draco is operated which gives the unique opportunity to either observe interaction of laser pulses with matter or couple the laser to the electron accelerator ELBE. The use of the latest high power GPU computing technology assures real-time handling of big data and sets world-wide standards for open source simulation tools for complex systems.

Within the health program the institute conducts research in laser development, particle beam transport and analysis as well as the radiobiological effectiveness of ultra-short high dose rate particle bunches. In a close collaboration with the Institute for Radiooncology – OncoRay it supports the medical physics section in the development and construction of hardware components, e.g. for PET and prompt gamma imaging.

By focussing the high power laser Draco onto a solid target, nanosecond proton bunches with energies up to 40 MeV could be accelerated already in the commissioning phase. In order to achieve clinical relevant ion energies, the underlying acceleration mechanisms are studied. In parallel, the novel energy efficient laser PEnELOPE is developed.

Together with the OnCOOPtics group at OncoRay, the usability in cancer therapy is explored. Compact beam lines for protons with pulsed magnets are designed and set up taking advantage of the time structure of the ion beam. Furthermore, radiobiological effects of this radiation are studied in in vitro cell experiments as well as in vivo mouse models.

Radiation Physics

left: Petawatt amplifier of the Draco laser. @ HZDR/Oliver Killig
right: Proton energies achieved in Dresden so far. The black squares where measured with the laser before an upgrade, the green squares represent data with the new petawatt amplifier. @ HZDR/Radiation Physics

Dose controlled irradiation of cancer cells with laser accelerated proton pulses,
K. Zeil et al. Appl. Phys. B 110, 437 (2013)

High resolution energy-angle correlation measurement on hard X-rays from Laser-Thomson backscattering
A. Jochmann et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 114803 (2013)

Direct observation of prompt pre-thermal laser ion sheath acceleration,
K. Zeil et al. Nature Communications 3, 874 (2012)

Measurement of prompt gamma profiles in inhomogeneous targets with a knife-edge slit camera during proton irradiation,
M. Priegnitz et al. Physics in Medicine and Biology 60, 4849 (2015)

Towards highest peak intensities for ultra-short MeV-range ion bunches,
S. Busold et al. Scientific Report 5, 12459 (2015)