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The history of the project


The accelerator was delivered to Orsay in June, after being commissioned successfully in March 2015 at NEC (National Electrostatics Corporation) to Middleton (Wisconsin, USA). It was installed temporarily in the SuperACO hall pending completion of IGLEX Centre commissioned in December 2016. The acceptance tests in July showed that the first accelerator tube was damaged during transport. He was replaced in August and all the equipment was assembled and tested in September 2015, incorporating the magnet high energy deviation and High energy beam lines. As the INB106 (Basic Nuclear Installation) which depends SuperACO and the buildings IGLEX was not decommissioned, it was forbidden to use the accelerator, which was put on hold. The decommissioning procedure resulted December 2d, 2015 with a publication in the Official Gazette on December 8th, allows both Andromede and the restarting of the authorization procedure to the ASN (Nuclear Safety Authority). The period to acquire a greater mastery of the accelerator and the long-term tests for debugging purposes only began in January 2016 with the help of NEC engineers, revenues for this opportunity. The beams from the ECR source have been extracted from the accelerator and the voltage 4 MV was achieved without difficulty. A second series of tests to incorporate improvements from these trials will be conducted with NEC in May 2016. The first experiments are expected in June or July 2016. The figure shows the installation in September 2015, Andromede in SuperACO hall with SF6 transfer system, the magnet of high energy selection and the beam line of High energy heavy clusters at 1.29 ° and atomic ion beams at 90 °.


The multidisciplinary centre of technology and applied science called IGLEX project started in 2013. The project management was notified of the DAHER-VIRIS company on April 1st, 2014. After some delays related to funding, the DCE project phase IGLEX with the choice of companies was finalized by notifications of 11 items on December 18th, 2015. The financing will be through the CPER Ile de France (State-region Contract Plan) granted to the Valley plan during the second quarter 2015, and signed October 13th, 2015 ; The client is represented by the CNRS DR4 delegation. The kickoff and the first IGLEX site meeting took place on January 6th, 2016. The overall reception of all lots is scheduled for late December 2016. The end of the first shell, which is the two bunkers built in the Igloo to receive the two EQUIPEX ThomX and Andromede is scheduled to end June 2016. The picture shows a view from inside the Igloo with the construction of walls of Andromede.

Panoramic view of the inside of the Igloo late April 2106, the two casemates underway with the start of the construction of the ThomX south wall.

ION sources

The accelerator is equipped with two interchangeable ion sources. The ECR source MicroganTM (figure1) provided by Pantechnik (Bayeux, France), was commissioned in February 2014 at Bayeux with a 10 GHz RF generator of 100 W. The advantage of this source lies in the adjustment of the magnetic field which permits to produce multicharged atomic ions (with a minimum B configuration) or intact molecular ions (without minimum B). An ECR source, with the minimum B configuration provides very intense beams reaching 500 µA for helium, 100 µA for the carbon and 30 µA for argon A4+ (figure 2) ; the RF power is lower than the available 100 W. These results allow to consider ion beams of a few tens µA of helium and carbon as well as µA of A8+ delivered by the accelerator. Without minimum B, the source delivers 100 µA of CO + and 40µA of CO2 + with ten W (figure3). We have also obtained tens of nano-amps of C60n+ 2 <n <4 with an oven, the plasma gas being helium.

Figure 1. The ECR source, Microgan from Pantechnik

Figure 2. m/z spectrum for Argon gas obtained with a minimum B configuration (figure extracted from the commissioning report of the MICROGAN™ source)

Figure 3. m/z spectrum for CO2 without minimum B configuration (flat magnetic field) (figure extracted from the commissioning report of the MICROGAN™ source)

OrsayPhysics (Fuveau, France), partner of the Andromede project, provided the ionic column NAPIS (Nano-Particle Ion Source) which produces gold nanoparticle beams. This ion source was commissioned in March 2014 at Fuveau. The NAPIS column (Figure 4) is equipped with a LMIS source (Liquid Metal Ion Source) which provides beams of atomic ions, clusters and gold nanoparticles. The intensities of the beams extracted with 20 kV acceleration are around fifty nA for atomic ions, several tens nA for clusters and a few hundreds pA for the nano-particles constituted with 400 gold atoms (Figures 5 & 6). The diameter of these quasi parallel beams injected into the accelerator is of the order of 500 microns.

Figure 4. Napis column from OrsayPhysics and scheme

Figure 5. Mass spectrum of ions produced from gold germanium liquid metal ion source with 20μA of source current and 20μm mass aperture. Notice the germanium isotopes separation. (figure extracted from the acceptance test report of the OrsayPhysics column)

Figure6. Gold nano-particle intensity from gold germanium source at 50μA emission current by using a 100μm aperture. The magnet current of the Wien filter was set to 0.8A and 1.24A. The maximum of the curves correspond to the Au400 4+ ion beam. . (figure extracted from the acceptance test report of the OrsayPhysics column)



Institut de Physique Nucléaire Orsay - 15 rue Georges CLEMENCEAU - 91406 ORSAY (FRANCE)
UMR 8608 - CNRS/IN2P3

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