TAU Systems to build new generation of compact particle accelerators after $15M investment

Photo/TAU Systems
CEO and founder Bjorn Manuel Hegelich aligning laser beams within a laser system at TAU's facility in Austin, Texas.

TAU Systems has raised $15 million in seed investment to bring particle accelerators to a multitude of users by harnessing the latest laser technology to make electrons surf on three-dimensional plasma waves and accelerate them to ultra-high energies.

The news is significant as, until now, high-energy particle accelerators have been limited to countries and governmental organizations. Due to their huge size and high cost, access for engineers and biotech professionals is severely limited. 

The laser-driven particle accelerators and X-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL) developed by TAU Systems will give access to a world of ultra-small objects evolving ultra-fast under ultra-powerful conditions – TAU’s team calls it the Ultraverse.

TAU Systems said it will offer beamtime, data acquisition and analysis as a full-service supplier as well as complete laser-driven accelerators and XFEL systems for sale, to, for example, pharma and biotech, battery and solar technology, and other material-science driven markets. 

Products by 2024

The company is currently building academic and industrial partnerships to develop the laser technology and leverage the most recent scientific and technological advances. It aims to offer its first products for sale in 2024, have an XFEL service center operational by 2026, and start selling full XFEL systems by 2027.

TAU Systems was founded in 2021 by Bjorn Manuel Hegelich, who acts as the company’s CEO. He is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert in laser plasma interaction who has also led laser-acceleration physics research at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“Until now, the world’s most powerful accelerators have simply been too large and too expensive to be a realistic tool for the vast majority of scientific and corporate users. We believe that access to our machines will have transformative impacts across almost every industry and the economy.” Hegelich said.

“By exploring, developing, and benefiting from the Ultraverse, TAU Systems will greatly accelerate the future solutions to our biggest global challenges – human and planet health.”

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