LA³NET partners develop laser technology to help upgrading the Large Hadron Collider

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The University of Dundee and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) have jointly developed a pioneering technology for the surface modification of metals known as LESS (Laser Engineered Surface Structures).

The new technology could help boost the performance of the LHC by helping to clear the so-called ‘electron cloud’. This cloud of negative particles can degrade the performance of the primary proton beams that circulate in the accelerator and limit the range of experiments possible on the LHC.

Within the High Luminosity LHC project, CERN is preparing to upgrade the Large Hadron Collider from 2019 and a new solution is needed to reduce the electron cloud problem. The LESS method could be a solution to this. Initial tests at the Super Proton Synchrotron, the LHC injector, have shown the LESS method is very effective at controlling the electron yield, as electron clouds have been fully eradicated.