Ion Sources

The 88-Inch Cyclotron is fed by three Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) high-charge-state ion sources: the ECR, the AECR, and the superconducting VENUS, currently one of the most powerful ECR ion sources in the world. Built to answer the demand for intense heavy ion beams, these high-performance ion sources enable the 88-Inch Cyclotron to accelerate beams of ions ranging from hydrogen to uranium.

ECR ion sources microwave electrons off of atoms in the ion source’s plasma chamber, producing positively charged ions. These ions are kept contained in the ion source’s magnetic field, allowing high-energy electrons to strip additional electrons from the ions. The ions are eventually fed into the 88-Inch Cyclotron for acceleration.

The ECR ion sources allow the efficient use of rare isotopes of stable elements, either from natural or enriched sources. A variety of metallic ion beams are routinely produced in our low temperature oven (up to 600 degrees Celsius) and our high-temperature oven (up to 2100 degrees Celsius). Furthermore, the ability to produce "cocktails" (mixtures of beams) for the Berkeley Accelerator Space Effects (BASE) Facility adds tremendously to the flexibility of the 88-Inch Cyclotron.

The next-generation ion source, known as MARS, is currently in development. By combining cutting-edge metal materials with an innovative, new magnetic winding design, MARS will improve both the beam intensity and the available ion charge states, offering significantly better performance for researchers.

Ion Source Group Publications