MEC - Matter in Extreme Conditions

Photo from entrance of MEC Feb 5 2019

The LCLS beam with its high peak brightness, short pulse duration, and tunable X-ray photon energy provides revolutionary capabilities to study the transient behavior of matter in extreme conditions. The particular strength of the Matter in Extreme Conditions (MEC) instrument is to combine the unique LCLS beam with high power optical laser beams, and a suite of dedicated diagnostics tailored for this field of science (including an X-ray Thomson scattering spectrometer, an XUV spectrometer, a shielded X-ray spectrometer and a VISAR system). While the large vacuum target chamber makes the endstation very versatile, it has been designed to service key scientific areas including Warm Dense Matter physics, high pressure studies, shock physics, and high energy density physics.

Perspective for Run 22

In addition to the standard configurations, users are encouraged to take advantage of developing capabilities at MEC, in close consultation with the Instrument Team

  • The new beam delivery platform for the short pulse laser providing for easier setup of experiments using the short pulse laser, whether in full intensity, frequency doubled, or uncompressed mode. 
  • A new spectrometer capable of high resolution data in harsh EMP and bremsstrahlung environment (the XTCS) as well as a new compact von-Hamos sepctrometer for collective-hungry experiments.
  • The UXI detectors from Sandia National Laboratory, allowing up to 4 frames separated by few ns, of particular interest for ns long dynamic studies.

Laser-only time through LaserNetUS

Starting in 2019, FES has provided funding for MEC to offer a limited amount of laser-only time (no LCLS X-rays) through the LaserNetUS consortium. See for more information.

For more information about the MEC instrument, please read the following articles:


Far Experimental Hall (FEH), Hutch 6

MEC Location

See complete instrument map »

MEC Photos

MEC (Matter in Extreme Conditions) Hutch

MEC Videos

A flyover view of the MEC instrument.

Download animation (right click and save link as):

mp4  (17.2 MB)   wmv (17 MB)  

For more MEC related videos, see the LCLS MEC playlist on YouTube.