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The objective of the CILEX (Centre Interdisciplinaire Lumière EXtrême) project is to develop at l'Orme des Merisiers an international-scale interdisciplinary centre hinged on a multi-beal multi-PW* laser system, APOLLON, serving two experimental areas, and on satellite facilities (UHI100 at LIDyL, Salle Jaune at LOA, LASERIX at the Université Paris-Sud and ELFIE at LULI) delivering moderate laser powers (at the 100TW level).

This centre will be dedicated to the high-power ultra-short laser technology, to the study of laser-matter interaction in the yet unexplored ultra-relativistic regime, and to applications, especially those of the energetic and ultra-short secondary sources of radiation (X and γ) and particles (electrons and ions) that the extreme irradiation conditions (ultra-high intensity, ultra-short duration) are allowing.
These activities come under the so-called UHI (ultra-high intensity) research field and lies within the corresponding pole of the Institute Lasers & Plasmas (ILP).
CILEX is supported by the French Investissements d'Avenir, through an EquipEx (ANR contract 10-EQPX-25) led by LULI and federating 12 partners on the Plateau de Saclay, by the European Regional Development Fund and by the 2014-2010 State  IdF -Region Plan. It also benefits from a strong support from CNRS, CEA and Ecole Polytechnique.

* 1 PW = 100 millions of millions watts