Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, United Kingdom

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) (an institution for the Science and Technology Facilities Council​, near Oxford, UK) is one of the world’s leading laser facilities, providing scientists from the UK and Europe with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology.

The CLF’s wide ranging applications include experiments in physics, chemistry and biology, accelerating subatomic particles to high energies, probing chemical reactions on the shortest timescales and studying biochemical and biophysical process critical to life itself.

From advanced, compact, tuneable lasers which can pinpoint individual particles to high power laser installations that recreate the conditions inside stars, a vigorous development programme ensures that our facilities maintain their international competitiveness.

Science and Technology Facilities Council
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus Didcot
TEL. 01235 445000
FAX. 01235 445808
call for proposals

A Covid-19 Rapid Call for Access to the Octopus Facility

Rapid Access Call for Octopus Facility Proposals: SARS-CoV-2

The UK's Central Laser Facility (CLF) is inviting rapid access proposals to its Octopus imaging facility for research relevant to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. The Octopus facility offers a comprehensive range of optical microscopy instruments and techniques including super-resolution (PALM/STORM, SIM, and STED, including STORM at cryogenic temperatures), single molecule imaging and tracking, light sheet microscopy, FRET-FLIM, and optical trapping/tweezers. We also offer a Zeiss Crossbeam cryo FIB-SEM with “slice and view" capability. More information is available at:

Our Central Laser Facility provides an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology. Encompassing compact lasers that can pinpoint individual particles and high-power installations that can recreate conditions found inside stars, this unique facility accelerates sub-atomic particles, probes chemical reactions and delves deep into the biochemical and biophysical processes that make life possible.

We provide access to these cutting-edge capabilities for the entire UK and EU science community, enabling academia and industry to further their research and helping them achieve the breakthroughs they seek. Our laser development programmes are working towards the next generation of even higher power lasers, and towards making them more widely used for applications in healthcare, energy and engineering.