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Worldwide facilities information

A National Network Of Accelerators Dedicated To Material Irradiation (EMIR)
Hosting Legal Entity
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Coordinating Country
United Kingdom
Type Of RI
Life Cycle Status
Operational since 1977
Harwell Oxford, Didcot, PO: OX11 0QX, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom), United Kingdom(51.573217, -1.311021)
RI Keywords
RI Category
Intense Light Sources
Scientific Domain
Chemistry and Material Sciences;Biological and Medical Sciences;Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics

Mission and Objective

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is a unique UK asset located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and is operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The primary purpose of the CLF is to serve leading research communities from the UK and Europe that are operating at the forefront of their respective fields and need access to the most advanced and sophisticated facilities available.The CLF has a wide scientific merit, which ranges from laboratory astrophysics to cellular biology, underpinned by a technological heritage that is deep and diverse. The CLF houses two of the world’s leading high power lasers, Vulcan and Astra-Gemini and a suite of state of the art advanced laser systems that form the Astra-Artemis and Lasers for Science Facility (LSF). The CLF has high visibility on the international stage and is widely regarded as an international leader in its fields of operation. It was a founding member of the Laserlab-Europe Integrated Infrastructure Initiative.


- Access to Laser-based Optical Microscopy Facility

A broad spectrum of laser systems, from high intensity laser systems to ultra-fast sources and laser microscopy techniques. Underpinning the laser facilities are enabling capabilities, from computational plasma physics to target mi​cro-fabrication and laser ​tweezers.​

- Access to Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy and Laser-based Optical Microscopy


- Ultrafast Pump-Probe Laser Spectroscopy Facility ULTRA

- Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy Platform OCTOPUS

Including sub-diffraction-limit imaging. for life sciences and materials research.