The 88-Inch Cyclotron facility provides high-intensity, medium-charge-state ions as well as low-intensity, high-charge-state ion beams to its users. The positively charged ion beams are used for experiments ranging from Super Heavy Element searches to radiation effects chip testing at the 88-Inch Cyclotron’s BASE Facility. This flexibility is especially important to the radiation effects testing community who collide ion beams of varied mass and energy into computer parts destined for space, for example, in order to understand how the parts will perform there. Of particular importance to this research are cocktail beams: multi-species ion beams of similar mass-to-charge ratio produced by an Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) ion source that are injected into the cyclotron then accelerated and delivered to researchers one-species-at-a-time via small cyclotron frequency changes performed on minute timescales.
The facility recently received funding from the Test Resource and Management Center (TRMC) whose aim is to ensure the Department of Defense Test and Evaluation community has the capabilities to test parts. The 88-Inch Cyclotron is an ideal location for radiation effects testing owing to the high-charge-state ion production capability of its ECR ion sources, the efficient transport of these ions through the cyclotron, the ability of the cyclotron to quickly switch between ions, and the BASE Facility’s precision testing platform. The TRMC-provided funds will be used towards a project aimed at improving the production, transmission, and reliability of the new, higher-energy 20 MeV/nucleon cocktail.
TRMC is interested in the new 20 MeV/nucleon heavy ion cocktail as higher-energy ions penetrate deeper into today’s increasingly complex parts. This cocktail includes the ion 124Xe46+, which is difficult to produce and deliver, due to its high charge state. Vacuum leaks in the cyclotron can affect the amount of beam a user receives.
This project will include additional vacuum pumps for the cyclotron, a new power supply that will improve the stability of the beam on target, and an additional klystron for the VENUS ECR ion source that can aid in the beam production. The funds provided by TRMC will help maintain the 88 Inch Cyclotron as one of the premier locations for space effects testing.