What is ALFA?

Due to the rapid progression of ultrafast intense laser technology, we are now entering an era in which the production of light pulses in the attosecond time domain is possible, enabling the investigation of extremely fast processes in atoms, molecules, and materials.

Currently, a new research area covering the fundamentals of attosecond science, spanning from the material to the life sciences, is being established. In the coming years, we can expect to see increasing applications of attosecond science, as well as the development of a new range of devices with ultrafast response times.

The University of Tokyo is now planning to construct the Attosecond Laser Facility (ALFA). ALFA will be a cutting-edge user facility that encourages the exploration of attosecond science within basic and applied research fields for both domestic and international researchers.

ALFA's goals

  • To enable researchers, from a wide range of fields within the material and life sciences, access to cutting-edge attosecond pulse technology
  • To observe and control electronic motion in substances in real-time
  • To gain a deeper understanding of the root of chemical reactions
  • To develop new materials and to inspire future innovations

In both 2014 and 2017, respectively, our plan was adopted into Science Council of Japan's Master Plan of Large Research Projects, designated as a priority research program. On both occasions, our plan was then also selected for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's (MEXT) Roadmap of Large-scale Academic Research Projects, designated as high-priority. In accordance with our success, a request to form COAST was approved in FY2017 by MEXT.

Activities in COAST

During April 17 - March 2022, the Consortium for Attosecond Laser Science and Technology (COAST) project prepared the way for the establishment of ALFA.

Here, Center for Ultrafast Intense Laser Science (CUILS), The University of Tokyo played a central role in preparing for the ALFA project in collaboration with RIKEN, Keio University, The University of Electro-Communications, and Institute for Molecular Science. Within The University of Tokyo, CUILS collaborated with Institute for Photon Science and Technology (IPST), Photon Science Center (UT-PSC), and The Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP). CUILS also collaborated with Japan Intense Light Field Society (JILS) and the Advanced Photon Science Alliance (APSA), for the advancement of the ALFA project.