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About IPFN

Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear (IPFN) is a research unit (RU) of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), the biggest Portuguese engineering school, created on January 1st 2008 by including the former Centro de Fusão Nuclear(CFN) and Centro de Física de Plasmas (CFP). The location together with an outstanding publication record, strong ability to attract national and international funding and successful participation in large-scale projects such as ITER, JET, HiPER and ELI have attracted several Portuguese firms and research groups as well as young researchers to our fields of activity, aiming at pursuing new exciting research directions at international scale.

About IPFN

IPFN has the statute of Associated Laboratory of the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, through a contract signed in November 2001 between Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and IST acting on behalf of CFN in consortium with CFP. IPFN has four main objectives: (i) to develop R&D projects in the frame of Portuguese and international funding programmes; (ii) to collaborate in education and training programmes of technicians, engineers and physicists in plasma and lasers physics, engineering and technologies; (iii) to give technical support to the Portuguese authorities and to assure the Portuguese representation in the management committees of international Programmes and Organizations, in the areas of our expertise; and (iv) to develop outreach activities.

The Associated Laboratory has two Thematic Areas: (i) Controlled Nuclear Fusion; and (ii) Plasma and Laser Technologies. Besides other small laboratories, IPFN has three main experimental facilities, the Tokamak ISTTOK, the Laboratory for Intense Lasers (L2I) and the Environmental Plasma Engineering Laboratory (EPEL), and two computer clusters. IPFN is also responsible by the operation of the IST central computer cluster.

The activities on Controlled Nuclear Fusion are framed by the Contract of Association between the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and IST, in force since January 1st 1990 and have been carried out in the frame of the EURATOM Mobility Agreement, the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) and, more recently, the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy (F4E). The main fusion projects have been related with the operation and scientific exploitation of ISTTOK, the participation in the ITER construction as well as  in the collective use of the JET facilities by the EFDA Associates, the participation in the programmes of European medium size devices (ASDEX-Upgrade, TJ-II, TCV, MAST, COMPASS, TORE SUPRA and W7-X), the collaboration with Brazilian programmes and the participation in the EURATOM Technology Programme as well as the keep-in-touch activities on inertial fusion energy. The main areas of activity are operation of fusion devices, control and data acquisition systems, plasma diagnostics (electric and magnetic probes, microwave reflectometry, visible and X-ray spectroscopy, Thomson scattering and heavy ion beam analyser), transport, MHD activity, plasma turbulence, edge physics, non-inductive heating and current drive, fusion materials, remote handling and quality assurance.

The thematic area of Plasmas and Laser Technologies includes experimental and theoretical investigations on ultra-intense lasers, radiation sources, plasma-based accelerators, biomedical optics, quantum plasmas and microwave molecular plasmas as well as their applications, theory and simulation on high energy density science and astrophysical and space plasma physics, e-science, simulation and modelling of plasma sources and studies of non-equilibrium kinetics of discharge plasmas and afterglows. Some part of the activity is developed at the local experimental facilities, L2I and EPEL, while wider joint experimental activities are developed at European Large Scale facilities e.g. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK), LOA and LULI at École Polytechnique (France), or XFEL at DESY (Germany). The main projects of this thematic area include participation in large scale, long duration international programmes (like, for instance, HiPER, ELI and LaserLab Europe) and collaborations with very prestigious European and American universities and research institutions.

The IPFN staff comprises about 150 professionals, 68 of them with PhD.


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