View on GitHub


a spicy massively parallel fully-relativistic electromagnetic 3D particle-in-cell code

Download this project as a .zip file Download this project as a tar.gz file

Build Status Master Build status

piccante Logo

piccante is a massively parallel fully-relativistic electromagnetic 3D particle-in-cell code, released by the authors to the whole laser-plasma community under a GPLv3 license.
Its strengths are related to flexibility: the user is able to define an arbitrary number of particle species with arbitrary density functions and an arbitrary number of Gaussian laser pulses.
The code is proved to scale very well up to 32768 MPI processes. In its present state, the code could be considered in beta status.
Copyright 2014-2017 - Andrea Sgattoni, Luca Fedeli, Stefano Sinigardi

piccante make use of the following libraries:

To build piccante, please refer to BUILD instructions.

A paper that describes the technical features of piccante is under development now, in the meantime if you want to use the code please ask the authors for a ZENODO doi linked to the specific release you’re using or just use the following DOI always pointing to the latest release: DOI.

A technical paper describing optimizations performed during a Preparatory PRACE can be found here DOI.

Papers containing simulations done with piccante

1) A. Sgattoni, S. Sinigardi, L. Fedeli, F. Pegoraro, A. Macchi, Laser-Driven Rayleigh-Taylor Instability: Plasmonics Effects and Three-Dimensional Structures, arXiv:1404.1260, Phys. Rev. E, 91, 013106 (2015) DOI

2) A. Sgattoni, S. Sinigardi, A. Macchi, High Energy Gain in Three-Dimensional Simulations of Light Sail Acceleration, arXiv:1403.2709, Appl. Phys. Lett., 105, 084105 (2014)

3) L. Fedeli, A. Sgattoni, G. Cantono, D. Garzella, F. Réau, I. Prencipe, M. Passoni, M. Raynaud, M. Květoň, J. Proska, A. Macchi, T. Ceccotti, Electron acceleration by relativistic surface plasmons in laser-grating interaction arXiv:1508.02328, [Physical Review Letters 116, 015001 (2016)] (

4) A. Sgattoni, L. Fedeli, G. Cantono, T. Ceccotti and A. Macchi, High field plasmonics and laser-plasma acceleration in solid targets Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 58, 014004 (2015)