Jefferson Lab operates a kilowatt-class, high-average-power, sub-picosecond free-electron laser, covering the mid-infrared spectral region. On July 21, 2004, 10 kilowatts of cw operation was achieved at a wavelength of 6 microns. This was extended on Oct. 30, 2006 to 14.2 kilowatts of cw light at 1.6 microns. Extensions of the FEL to 250nm in the UV are planned. The short pulses of electrons also produce hundreds of watts of broadband THz light, which is made available in a special user laboratory.
The laboratory also operates an ultraviolet free-electron laser which on August 31, 2010 lased in the spectral region down to 363 nm with 100W average power levels. Harmonics around 10 eV photon energy are expected to be present at the 100 mW level.
The program and this user facility derives from the primary mission of Jefferson Laboratory, namely, nuclear physics research and the world's first large superconducting accelerator for generating continuous multibillion-volt beams of electrons, called CEBAF.
The FEL program is led by George Neil.
Currently, Jefferson Lab is using the term Low Energy Recirculator Facility, or LERF, to refer to this facility, as future missions with potentially broader scope are under development. Therefore, a LERF webpage has been set up. Those seeking current information should see the LERF webpage. The Free-Electron Laser webpages are not being updated, but they are being maintained for archival and reference purposes.