Ion Beam Facility

DIFFER operates a unique Ion Beam Facility. The facility can be used for two types of setups. The first is ion beam analysis. That is a non-destructive, quantitative, quick, and cheap method of elemental depth profiling in (generally) solid materials. The second type of setup is ion irradiation. With that, you can induce defects in materials and inspect them afterwards. Apply for beam time through our request beam time page.

Not only for fusion research
We, ourselves, use the ion beam facility mainly for fusion-related research, but our instrument can support a plethora of cases. The electronics industry, for example, can use our ion irradiaton setup to test field-programmable gate arrays for cosmic ray detectors. And Dutch flower producers are interested because with ion-irradiation you can damage DNA on purpose to create new varieties of decorative flowers. Furthermore, our facility can be used in the fields of solar cells, semiconductors, optoelectronics, meteorology, forensics, geology, biology, archaeology, and cultural heritage.

Text contiunues below the photo of the Ion Beam Faclity (credit: DIFFER/Bart van Overbeeke)

Ion Beam Facility - overview

High stability ion accelerator
The Ion Beam Facility is built around a Singletron ion accelerator of the company HVE. The accelerator extracts ions from a radio frequency plasma and accelerates these electrostatically over (at most) 3.5 MV. The ion beam is filtered, steered and focused by magnets to an experimental setup of choice (see also techniques). This type of accelerator has high beam stability with low ripple and high beam current. The Singletron can produce any lightweight gas ions. Currently, we use mainly H, 3He and 4He.

Seven beamlines, three in use
The Ion Beam Facility at DIFFER can accommodate seven beamlines of which, currently, three are in use. If you want to apply for beam time, please check our request beam time page.

If you are interested in using the Ion Beam Facility, please feel free to contact us:
Beata Tyburska-Pueschel, IBF contact person, +31 40 333 47 62, B [368] Tyburska-Pueschel [28] differ [368] nl
Wim Melissen, accelerator operator, +31 40 333 49 99

More information
IBF annual report 2021 (pdf)