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.

Under the Consortium for Attosecond Laser Science and Technology (COAST), 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.

In realization of our plan, the Center for Ultrafast Intense Laser Science (CUILS), the University of Tokyo, has been collaborating alongside RIKEN, Keio University, the University of Electro-Communications and the Institute for Molecular Science. Within the University of Tokyo, CUILS has been collaborating with the Institute for Photon Science and Technology (IPST), Photon Science Center (UT-PSC) and the Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP). CUILS has also been in cooperation with the Japan Intense Light Field Society (JILS) and the Advanced Photon Science Alliance (APSA), for the ALFA project.