Negative Ion Beam Accelerators & Applications

By Dr. Morgan Dehnel, Chief Science & Innovation Officer

Negative ion beams are utilized with several different accelerator technologies. For example, negative ion beams are used at CERN for charge-exchange injection into a synchrotron, at TRIUMF for charge exchange extraction from a cyclotron, at WERC for energy-doubling via a Tandem Accelerator, and at ITER for the precursor beam in the Neutral Beam Injector. Also, negative ion beams are utilized in a variety of fields. The examples given already verify that negative ion beams are important for discovery science. However, negative ion beams are important for medical applications as well. Charge exchange extraction from ~2000 commercial cyclotrons is important for producing SPECT and PET radio-tracers for medical diagnostic imaging, as well as for producing certain radio-immunotherapy drugs for cancer. Some accelerators used for BNCT utilize negative ions, and, thus, medical therapy applications, in this case for cancer, are also an application area for negative ion beams. Companies such as HVE, NEC, and IonPlus use negative ion beams for their Carbon Dating accelerators which is the Tandem technique combined with negative ions to ensure that N14 does not contaminate their C14 dating measurements. The Tandem acceleration technique is also used in certain implanters used in semiconductor manufacture. These are but a few of the accelerators and applications that utilize negative ion beams today. Please join us at the University of Auckland August 31 through September 4th, 2020 at the Negative Ions, Beams and Sources conference to learn more about this fascinating field.

This piece was reprinted by D-Pace, Inc. from the Buckley Systems Spring 2017 technical bulletin with permission from Buckley Systems Ltd. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.