Developing a world-class centre of academic and applied research, using all of the laser and complementary experimental facilities of the Saclay Plateau.

Learn more about CILEX at this link.

CILEX (Interdisciplinary Centre for Extreme Light) is a global-scaled centre dedicated to the study of the interaction of laser light with matter under conditions of extreme illumination. The lasers that are gathered are so intense and so brief that their impact with matter generates beams of electrons, ions or X-rays and gamma rays, as a particle accelerator would do.

One objective of CILEX is the study and development of these types of sources, which offer numerous advantages in terms of compactness, brevity and manoeuvrability, for applications in extremely diverse fields (cancer treatments, for example). From a more basic point of view, the technological breakthrough that will be developed there promises to open new horizons for researchers who are thus considering changing the properties of the vacuum.

The Saclay Plateau concentrates France’s the largest community in high intensity laser development and its applications. This project will allow development of discoveries in various fields such as physics, energy, biology and medicine. The research conducted within the context of the CILEX project will be especially dedicated to sources of high energy ions and their applications, experiments on extreme intensity, sources of ultra-short X-rays and their applications and the acceleration by laser of electrons at very high energies.

The research conducted within the context of this project covers a wide area: from the creation of new materials to the development of new therapies, using, for example, beams of protons, which reach deep targets more accurately than does conventional radiation therapy.

The CILEX project has been carried out by the scientific community using and producing power lasers from Ile-de-France, structured by the Institut lasers et plasmas (ILP) and assembled to create the Apollo laser within the context of the ILE (Institute of Extreme Light).

On the international level, the innovative nature of this project positions France as the leader in the field, giving it a leading share in the European ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) project, which should be forthcoming in 2014.