3 Mega volt Tandem accelerator, the “Tandetron” installation


The Materials Research Department of iThemba LABS is proud to announce that their new 3 Mega volt Tandem accelerator, the “Tandetron” with its digitally sophisticated beam transport system, has now been successfully installed, tested and declared operational up to the point of commissioning. Just the sight of this hi-tech equipment in the beautifully revamped vault where the old Van de Graaff beamlines used to be, is very overwhelming and to some extent intimidating by the looks of it.

On 28 February 2017, around 4pm, the first analysed beam (1.4 MeV protons) was delivered to the last faraday cup on the beamline, measuring a very stable beam current after the 90 degree analysing magnet on the high energy side, proving an 80% efficiency for the Tandetron. This stability and efficiency was measured with both low as well as high intensity beam injected into the Tandetron, which in total took just under one hour to achieve. The highest current measured after the analysing magnet on the high energy side was 111 micro amps. This is a great achievement and assurance for the remainder of tests to follow… so a big thanks to everyone who contributed in making this “dream” of the MRD and of iThemba LABS become a reality. We can all feel very proud.

Watch this space for more smiles…

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