Lasers for Science Facility & Artemis User Meeting 2019
11 Jun 2019
- Justin Tabbett



This year’s “Lasers for Science Facility/Artemis User Meeting” ran from the 9th – 11th of April in St Catherine’s College, Oxford. Delegates gathered to discuss research from the CLF’s Octopus, Ultra and Artemis Facilities.




The event had 107 registered delegates coming from over 35 different universities and institutions to share scientific research, and new developments in laser technologies.  The meeting commenced with an introduction from director of the Central Laser Facility, Prof. John Collier where he briefly discussed changes that have been happening in the CLF and new developments for the facility.

Dr Chris Toseland, University of Kent, started off the first day of talks with his keynote lecture “Nanoscale organisation of transcription regulated by myosin VI". The afternoon continued with some research from Octopus, one of the imaging clusters based in the Research Complex at Harwell. Prof. Maria Martin-Fernandez then gave an update on the facility.

Prof. Stan Botchway of Octopus was chair for the first day and shared his thoughts about the user meeting

The combined LSF/Artemis user meeting worked very well. This is a useful way to identify future cross-over of research areas of high power lasers to biological applications. An example of this is the presentation by Dr P Chaudhary on 'DNA DSB Repair Dynamics following Irradiation with Laser-Driven Protons at Ultra-High Dose Rates'. Although this work was carried out on Gemini and Vulcan with contribution from LSF staff and access to the Octopus imaging cluster, it highlighted the possibilities and opportunities in biomedical applications using high power lasers. This of course was part of Prof. John Collier's introduction address of the user meeting."

Left: Dr Chris Toseland, University of Kent. Right: Prof. Andrew Orr-Ewing, University of Bristol.​

The afternoon saw talks from Imperial College London, Queen's University Belfast, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Birmingham. These talks covered a range of topics from lipid-protein membrane sensing to using laser accelerated carbon ions for radiotherapy in cancer stem cell models. Tuesday came to a close with a talk about real time imaging of graphene uptake in mammalian cells, followed by a talk about bioinks and 3D printing of cells.

Day two featured two keynote lectures; the first was given by Prof. Andrew Orr-Ewing, University of Bristol on “Ultrafast infra-red spectroscopy as a probe of chemical reaction mechanisms". The second keynote lecture of the day, from Dr Russell Minns, University of Southampton, was “Molecular dynamics studied via femtosecond extreme ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy". 

Senior Experimental Scientist for Artemis, Charlotte Sanders who chaired the second keynote session, had this to say about the conference

It was very nice to hear updates from our user community and to hear about so much exciting new science coming out of all of their labs. The event was a great opportunity to have discussions with our users about our ongoing facility upgrades. We've had really useful input about the capabilities we're hoping to have in the new lab. It's valuable for us to hear all of their helpful ideas about how we can support them with the best possible facilities for the kind of science they want to do."

Left: Dr Russel Minns,​ University of Southampton. Right: Poster Session.

As well as these two keynote lectures, day two contained 12 other talks and a breakout session where users were able to speak to the laser groups. The second day of the conference closed with a poster session where users, PhD students, and sandwich students were able to present their work.​

The final day of the conference had 14 talks, with the keynote lecture being given by Dr Elizabeth Gibson of Newcastle  University on “Photoinduced electron transfer dynamics in photoelectrochemical and photoelectrocatalytic solar cells".


Left: Dr Elizabeth Gibson, Newcastle University. Right: Audience participation.

The conference proved to be useful for both the Central Laser Facility and the user community, highlighting the benefits of shared knowledge and collaboration. ​​

Contact: Tabbett, Justin (STFC,RAL,ISIS)