Radiation Effects Facility

The Cyclotron Institute’s Radiation Effects Facility provides a convenient and affordable solution to commercial, governmental, and educational customers in need of studying, testing and simulating the effects of ionizing radiation on electronic and biological systems. With dedicated beam lines for both heavy ion and proton testing, we can meet a wide variety of testing needs.

K500 Heavy Ion Testing

Various ion beams have been developed specifically for the Radiation Effects Facility. These beams provide for a wide scope of LET with high energies for deep part penetration. Time for beam species changes will vary, but with species that have the same energy per nucleon change times are about one half hour.

Beams can be delivered with a high degree of uniformity over a 1.8″ x 1.8″ cross sectional area for measurements inside the vacuum chamber and 1″ diameter circular cross sectional area for the in-air station. Uniformity is achieved by means of magnetic defocusing.

A degrader foil system makes it possible to set the desired beam LET value at a particular depth inside the target without changing the beam or rotating the target. The beam energy is reduced by means of a degrader system with foils having a suitable thickness and orientation with respect to the incident beam. Each foil can be inserted, withdrawn, and rotated remotely through use of computer controls.

The intensity of any beam is easily regulated over a broad range spanning several orders of magnitude in a matter of seconds. This can be done by the operator on duty at the users request. The target exposure system is fully automated. Exposure can be set for a certain time, total accumulated fluence, or can be manually stopped at any time.

K150 Proton & Heavy Ion Testing

The Cyclotron Institute’s Radiation Effects Facility now offers a second dedicated beam line for proton and heavy ion testing.

Combining an H-minus ion source with the re-commissioned K150 cyclotron, we offer protons with tunable energies from 6.3 to 45 MeV. Additional energies can be provided as low as 2 MeV with our degrader system. Maximum flux for these beams is on the order of 1×1010 particles/cm2/s.

The K150 beam line is also available for heavy ion testing with sets of 9.4 MeV/u and 15 MeV/u beams.

As with our K500 heavy ion testing beam line, we provide diagnostic equipment for complete dosimetry analysis and beam quality assurance. Test control and monitoring are conducted with the same custom SEUSS software that is used for K500 heavy ion testing. Dosimetry at low flux (1×107 particles/cm2/s and lower) is conducted using an array of five detectors comprised of plastic scintillators coupled to photomultiplier tubes. For higher fluxes, uniformity is first adjusted at a lower flux and then a set of four tantalum foils are used to back-scatter protons into four additional detectors. After a calibration measurement, dosimetry relies on these back-scattering measurements.