Target Fabrication is a group within the Central Laser Facility that is responsible for providing complex targets for use in high-power laser experiments. These objects are at the focal point of high-intensity laser interactions and are made into complex geometries from novel materials. Target requirements are dependent on experimental requirements and vary broadly from one experimental campaign to the next; experiment topics span plasma physics and particle acceleration, laboratory astrophysics, and industrial applications opportunities.
In order to create extreme environments the laser is focused to an interaction point comparable to the width of a human hair, the targets that are required have features of the same magnitude. New laser facilities such as EPAC require large numbers of targets and on this scale manufacture and quality control is extremely challenging.
The group uses a wide range of physical and chemical processes, together with advanced characterisation techniques to deliver targets that meet the experiment’s requirements.
The placement student in Target Fabrication will be tasked with the support and development of several key projects to deliver high repetition rate target solutions as the group has a key deliverable in the next 5 years of supporting high-repetition rate laser experiments; delivering thousands of batched produced targets to operations.
To achieve this key capability the student will develop and maintain the tape target delivery system and manufacture novel targets on tape carriers in support of the ongoing development and delivery of such systems. In addition, the student will be involved in the research and development of solutions to deliver liquid based targets at high repetition rate in collaboration with engineers and physicists both at STFC and in universities and facilities in the UK and Europe.
Additionally, the student will support the more general target delivery to the Central Laser Facility using a range of target manufacture and characterisation equipment.
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