Key Facilities and Resources
The École Polytechnique's research center supports a laboratory equipment policy that encourages the sharing of major resources. Therefore, national and international research teams can use the École Polytechnique's major equipment and facilities to conduct their research in a wide range of fields.
Below are three examples of large-scale instruments owned by the École Polytechnique's research center:
> The Sirius accelerator
The Sirius electron accelerator from the Irradiated Solids Laboratory (LSI) is part of the accelerators network for the Study of Materials Under Irradiation (EMIR). This facility can be used to age material to see how it changes over time. It is used, for example, in the nuclear and space sectors.
More specifically, electron irradiation can be used to study the flaws produced in radiated materials and the resulting property changes in real time and at low temperatures. This machine delivers energy electrons between 150 keV and 2.5 MeV. There is also an additional accelerator for other irradiation tools such as ion beams.
Four laboratories from the École Polytechnique's Research Center – the Molecular Chemistry Laboratory (LCM), Irradiated Solids Laboratory (LSI), Interface and Thin Layer Physics Laboratory (PICM) and Condensed Matter Physics Laboratory (PMC) - are conducting recognized experiments in materials science. Techniques using x-rays are vital in characterizing the structure and morphology of a material. Recent developments in research tend to pair these studies with a controlled sample environment. This makes it possible to study structural changes in situ under experimental conditions that are relevant to the objects studied. The École Polytechnique's wide range of instruments provides teams with the means to conduct and participate in national, European and international research consortiums.
The APOLLON project involves three École Polytechnique laboratories – the Laboratory for the User of Intense Lasers (LULI, Irradiated Solids Laboratory (LSI) and Applied Optics Laboratory (LOA) – as well as the Leprince-Ringuet Laboratory (LLR), a laboratory from the Institut d’Optique and Thalès Optronique S.A. (TOSA). This exemplary collaboration paves the way for new generations of particle accelerators of unmatched performance. These very powerful, less cumbersome and less costly accelerators are used for basic research in physics, as well as medical and societal applications.
Financed and developed as part of the Contrat Projets État Région (CPER) État-IdF 2007-2013, with additional support from the CNRS, the École Polytechnique, the CEA, the Institut d’Optique, ENSTA ParisTech and Université Paris-Sud, the goal of the APOLLON project is to build the first ultra-intense laser with a strength of 10 PW. This powerful instrument would help France secure its position as the leader in ultra-intense laser technology.
The LULI2000 high-power laser belongs to the Très Grandes Infrastructures de Recherche (TGIR - Large-Scale Research Infrastructures) as part of a government strategy and international partnerships. It was developed by the Laboratory for the Use of Intense Lasers (LULI) and is used primarily in laser inertial and nuclear fusion, basic dense and warm plasma physics, astrophysics and geophysics applications and studying and processing materials.