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The ANDROMEDE project

Project ANR-10-EQPX-23


High Energy Nano particles and molecules : probe of nano-domains and nano-objects deposited on the solid surface, under vacuum or in air.

Andromede collaboration

Andromede is mainly a new instrument for mass spectrometry analysis of nano-domains and nano-objects present on a surface. This project corresponds to the more efficient version, at present, of the secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).The molecular information (mass and structure) is obtained from the impact of nanoparticles (NPs), Au4004+ up to Au10000q+ for example, and also fullerenes C60n+ accelerated in the MeV domain by a 1 to 4MV Van de Graaff structure. These projectiles permit the analysis of hydrated (or not) samples, either under vacuum or at the air-pressure. The research field covers nano-technology with the preparation and analysis of nano-structured surfaces ; biology and “in vitro” studies of cells and bacteria ; astrophysics and the simulation of extraterrestrial interactions, with icy surfaces and hydrated clays in various gaseous surroundings ; and finally the study of the catalysis induced by the particular nano-structured surfaces.

The ions are produced by two ion source types. The clusters and nano-particles are provided by a LMIS (Liquid Metal Ion Source). This source NAPIS (NAno Particle Ion Source) has been built by Orsay Physics, an industrial partner of the project leader in the LMIS sources development and in the ions focusing in the nanoscale domain. The multi-charged molecular ions are produced by an ECR source supplied by Pantechnik. This source allows the production of high intensity light atomic ions (proton, helium) for low energy nuclear astrophysics experiments, but also for analyses with IBA technique (Ion Beam Analysis). To increase the ions and particularly the NPs charge a coupling of the LMIS and ECR sources is under development. This coupling will be set up in a second stage of the project.

The instrument is equipped with time-of-flight mass spectrometers to analyse the ejected ions under vacuum and in the air with, in this last case, a laser post ionization in order to improve the detection efficiency of the emitted species. One of these mass spectrometers is associated to an electron or proton emission microscope permitting to localize the impacts in the sub-micrometric domain.

The development of this new tool is performed in collaboration with several laboratories of the Université Paris Sud, partners of the project : the Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d’Orsay, the Institut de Génétique Moléculaire d’Orsay, the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale d’Orsay, the Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse and an industrial partner, OrsayPhysics. There is an international collaboration for this project with the Centre for Chemical Characterization and Analysis of Texas A&M University.

All the beams are open to the community of physicists studying the irradiated solids who will so be able to carry on with material alteration experiments in extreme conditions obtained with high energy clusters, but also atomic ions in a large mass range.

The possibility to accelerate high intensity atomic ions, coming from the ECR source, in a low energy domain, opens this accelerator to nuclear astrophysics.

The Andromède final setting up is forecasted in the 209 building called the IGLOO which it will share with another Equipex winner, ThomX, developed at the LAL, and this will make up a platform of the Université Paris Sud and the CNRS dedicated to multidisciplinary research.



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

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