lasa interne
LASA - Laboratorio Acceleratori e Superconduttività Applicata
Sezione di Milano

The L.A.S.A.

Excellence in Accelerator Technologies and Applied Superconductivity

The INFN laboratory LASA (short for Laboratorio Acceleratori e Superconduttività Applicata, i.e. Laboratory for Accelerators and Applied Superconductivity), in Segrate, at the outskirts of Milano, is an internationally known Particle Accelerator Technology excellence center since nearly thirty years.

From an idea of Prof. Francesco Resmini (1938-1984), here the third superconducting cyclotron ever realized worldwide (and first in Europe) was designed, assembled and tested. The cyclotron is in regular operation since 1994 at the INFN LNS in Catania, for nuclear physics experiments and medical applications.

With the development of advanced technologies for superconductivity, cryogenics and the productions of high intensity DC and RF electromagnetic fields, the laboratory has built unique competences that allowed contributing to innovative components to large international accelerator projects for high energy and applied physics.

As the name suggests, the LASA laboratory is dedicated to the study and development of innovative acceleration schemes and applications of advanced superconductivity both to accelerators and to other fields of physics.

The activities carried out since the early 90s in different sectors of accelerator physics and cryogenics applied to both magnets and RF cavities, have allowed the establishment of unique skills, which INFN has put in support of the largest international projects of particle physics.

It is worth summarizing briefly below some of the projects in which the laboratory has been involved since the last few years and which better than any other consideration highlight the present skills and potential of the laboratory itself.


LHC (Large Hadron Collider) - Cern

LASA contribution to LHC's success has been fundamental. The skills and technologies present have made it possible to make a more than significant contribution to the first prototypes of the superconducting dipoles of the accelerator and of the toroidal magnet of the ATLAS experiment, the largest of the LHC detectors. The laboratory also supplied and certified 50% of the superconducting cable and built the superconducting coils for the experiment. Subsequently, with the MAGIX project (Innovative Magnets for Future Accelerators), LASA has occupied a leading position in the development of technologies for the future of LHC. MAGIX foresees the design, construction and cryogenic testing of prototypes of superconducting magnets for the interaction regions of the HL-LHC (High Luminosity - LHC) project, the future high luminosity accelerator that will follow the last phase of LHC activity.


XFEL (European X Free Electron Laser) - Desy

Thanks to the experience acquired in the development of TESLA technology, LASA coordinated the technical-scientific aspect of the Italian participation in XFEL, a European infrastructure based on a powerful X-ray source, active since 2017 in Desy ( Hamburg), available to researchers from all over the world for research and multidisciplinary applications, in fields such as physics, biology, medicine, materials science. In this project, LASA has played the role of responsible for the realization, with the Italian industry, of half of the 800 superconducting cavities of the electron accelerator, almost half of the cryogenic modules that contain them and the third harmonic system to obtain the correct charge compression to increase the beam current..



ESS (European Spallation Source) - Lund

LASA is heavily involved in the design, development and production, in collaboration with the Italian industry, of the superconducting cavities of the medium beta section for the acceleration of proton beams for the European ESS project, the most powerful neutron source in the world. world for basic and applied research, under construction in Lund, Sweden. ESS is now under construction and is expected to become operational in 2023.



The objective of Heavy Ion Therapy Research Integration plus (HITRIplus, active from 2021) is to integrate and promote biophysical and medical research on the treatment of cancer with heavy ion beams and to jointly develop sophisticated tools in this area.
For this important initiative, HITRIplus brought together a consortium involving all relevant stakeholders and bringing together for the first time all four European ion therapy centers with leading EU industries, universities and research laboratories.




The Innovation Fostering in Accelerator Science and Technology (I-FAST, active from 2021) project is a H2020 project coordinated by CERN. It is a new tool for R&D on particle accelerators in Europe. It is unique for the project's direct involvement with industry as a co-innovation partner. The aim is to improve the sustainability of future accelerators through lower cost of technologies, lower energy consumption and an environmental impact. The project also aims to support the transition of accelerator technologies developed within its framework towards industrial and medical applications and an applied science status in general.




The LASA group was recently involved in the PIP-II project under construction in Fermilab (USA). LASA has assumed responsibility for the study and production of the low beta cavities for the superconducting linac that will accelerate protons to produce the most intense neutrino beam ever generated. In preparation for series production, innovative treatment techniques for cavities of this type are being developed at LASA.




During 2020, a research and development activity was started aimed at drafting a technical proposal document for the BriXSino project. BriXSino has a twofold objective: to act as a demonstrator of MariX / BriXS and at the same time to start the activity on Energy Recovery Linacs in the INFN. These are accelerators capable of generating, accelerating, manipulating and distributing electron beams of very high brightness and at the same time high average power to users, launching a new generation that will be strategic for both the High Energy Frontier and the High Intensity Frontier.
The BriXSino document will be ready in 2021 and in the meantime development and measurement campaigns will be carried out connected to very high repetition rate photocathode beams and to the construction of a Fabry Perot cavity prototype.




A research group has been active at LASA for many years to develop photocathodes to be used as sources of electrons stimulated by laser pulses in high-brightness sources. LASA grown photocathodes are used in FLASH, E-XFEL, APEX and LCLS-II (commissioning) injectors with excellent performance and durability. LASA has also developed the systems for the production, transport and transfer of photocathodes in the guns that allow to maintain the properties of the cathodes and the exchange of the same between the different laboratories.




The LASA laboratory has a long tradition in developing its skills and capabilities towards medical applications. This has materialized over the years with abundant activity in the study and development of highly specific radionuclides for use in Nuclear Medicine such as radiodiagnosis and metabolic radiotherapy.
The study of innovative acceleration schemes for hadrontherapy applications has seen LASA in the foreground both in the CNAO project and in the development of prototype Linac Booster at 3 GHz normal conductive for cyclotrons and accelerators based on laser-induced proton emission.



LASA is also involved in outreach activities related to natural radioactivity and regularly works with schools for the installation of a radioactive measurement laboratory,within projects funded by MIUR (Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca i.e. Ministry of University and Research) through the PLS (Progetto Lauree Scientifiche i.e. Scientific Degree Project) and INFN.