Name: Gladson Joseph
Home Institution: Univeristy College Dublin
Host Institution: University of Padua
Cohort: 2016 

Project Title

Smallest Sun: Generating the hardest soft X-rays from the hottest smallest laser plasmas


Many of the huge strides in scientific understanding and technical capacity arise from the development of imaging techniques of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the project here aims to push those boundries a little further by advancing soft x-ray source development. Soft x-ray photons from 500 eV to 3000 eV can enable contrast, chemical specificity and spatial resolution imaging in materials that don’t exist in the visible or UV range of the spectrum.


Great advances have been made in the last decades in developing optics and detectors in this spectral region, but apart from synchrotrons there are no lab‑based sources that can be used for routine imaging. The project proposed here aims to push laser plasma light sources to new limits of low wavelength below 1 nm (above 1200 eV) and crucially high radiance.  Such sources have a range of potential applications including metrology.

The work will be largely experimental and will focus on producing tiny volumes of plasma (less than 15 microns in diameter), with temperatures approaching that of the centre of the sun.   The student will develop high power laser optical systems, vacuum systems and soft x-ray spectroscopy techniques, as well as a solid understanding of laser plasma physics.




Mr. Gladson Joseph has graduated from Bharathiyar University in Electronics and Communication, in 2012. He earned his M.Tech degree in Nanotechnology from Karunya University, India in 2014. Mr. Gladson joined EXTATIC Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate program in January 2016. His project title is “ Smallest Sun: Generating the hardest soft X-rays from the hottest smallest laser plasmas”. He is particularly interested in development and demonstration of soft x-ray sources for biomedical imaging and other  applications.