Laboratori Nazionali del Sud

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Elimed

ELI-Beamlines MEDical and multidisciplinary applications

ELIMED is a multidisciplinary project dedicated to the application of charged-particle beams accelerated by the interaction of high-intense lasers with the matter.
ELIMED is carried-out in strict connection and collaboration with the ELI-Beamlines facility that is in realization in Prague (CZ).

The ELI-Beamlines facility will be a high-energy, repetition-rate laser pillar of the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) project. It will be an international facility for both academic and applied research, stated to provide user capability by the beginning of 2018. The main objective of the ELI-Beamlines Project is delivery of ultra-short high-energy pulses for the generation and applications of high-brightness X-ray sources and accelerated particles. These secondary sources beamlines are part of different Research Programs (RP2-RP6). The RP3 (Particle Acceleration by Lasers) Program aims at designing, implementing and commissioning two different beamlines based on the acceleration of ion and proton beams, which will be offered to the user community. In particular, the ion beamline will be focused on multidisciplinary application of laser-accelerated beams which can be used in different fields (material science, medicine, nuclear physics, pump-probe of plasmas, etc.). A special attention will be devoted to the demonstration of a future applicability of laser-driven proton beams in hadrontherapy. Two different PW-class laser systems will be available to such beamline (30J/30fs and 150J/150fs) in order to offer the possibility to investigate different acceleration regimes providing ion beams with different characteristics.

The coexistence of well-established research areas present inside has allowed to launch in the past months the European ELIMED initiative. ELIMED, acronym of ELI-beamlines MEDical and multidisciplinary applications, is an international task force born from the collaboration between INFN-LNS and ELI Experimental Program Department (ELI-Beamlines, Prague) researchers. The project has the aim of realizing, within 2018, a facility completely dedicated to physics and radiobiology studies of high energy protons (60-250) accelerated by high-power laser-target interaction. As discussed in several theoretical studies and shown in some experimental campaigns with low-power laser systems, the emitted particles have specific peculiarities that make their eventual medical application really a challenge. Indeed, the interaction of laser with the matter generates extremely intense pulsed beams (109 – 1012 protons per pulse with 0.1-1 ns pulse duration) characterized also by very large energy spreads (typically exponential energy distribution). Therefore, the ELIMED laser facility will be specifically designed and optimized to demonstrate the clinical applicability of the laser-driven beams.

On December 2014 a contract has been definitively signed between INFN and ELI-Beamlines. The contract entrusts the INFN for the realisation of a complete transport beamline for laser-driven ion beams and its related diagnostic and dosimetric devices.

The ELIMED beamline, that is actually under realisation at INFN-LNS, will be definitively delivered and assembled at ELI-Beamlines within the end of 2017.

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