The SCAPA infrastructure is part of a major refurbishment of the John Anderson Building at the University of Strathclyde. It consists of ~1200 m2 total area comprising shielded areas, laser labs, preparation labs and control area. There are 3 shielded areas for a total of 5 accelerator beam lines and 300 m2 total working space (compared to 37 m2 for the old ALPHA-X shielded area). The SCAPA laser labs are located on top of the shielded areas.

Layout of Level 1. The laser labs are situated above the bunkers.

Layout of Level 1 shielded areas and control area. The laser labs are situated above the bunkers.

Laser wakefield accelerator beamline A2 in Bunker A.

Laser-solid interaction beamline B1 in Bunker B.

The workhorse for the ALPHA-X laser wakefield accelerator beam line since 2007 has been a 40 TW (1.4 J, 35 fs, repetition rate of 5 Hz) Ti:sapphire laser system. This laser will eventually drive two beam lines in SCAPA, including ALPHA-X.

In addition, an entirely new Ti:sapphire laser system was procured for SCAPA. It  produces 8.75 J, 25 fs pulses at a design repetition rate of 5 Hz, corresponding to a peak power of 350 TW, and drives three of the SCAPA beam lines. This laser system was the world’s highest average power laser of its type when commissioned in 2017. It now operates at 1 Hz repetition rate.

The pristine Control Area (before being populated) for radiation beam lines control and data acquisition.

SCAPA also houses a number of auxiliary spaces for experimental preparation and post-analysis. These comprise:

  • kHz repetition rate Ti:sapphire laser system (13 mJ pulse energy) for plasma accelerator development and characterisation, diagnostic development, etc.
  • Zygo interferometer (DynaFiz system, 6″ beam diameter).
  • bio prep room with biological safety cabinets and incubator.
  • chemical prep room with fume cupboards.
  • imaging room with imaging plate reader and film scanners.
  • radioisotope sealed source room for X-ray and gamma ray detector calibration.

Bio prep room for off-line cell work.

One of the radiation shielding concrete doors weighing in at 14 tons!