iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) is a multidisciplinary research facility that is based on the development, operation and use of particle accelerators and related research equipment. The largest of these, a k-200 separated sector cyclotron can accelerate protons to energies of 200MeV, and heavier particles to much higher energies. Smaller accelerators at the Western Cape site are two injector cyclotrons, one providing intense beams of light ions, and the other, beams of polarized light ions or heavy ions; a 3MV Tandetron used mainly for research utilising ion beam analysis techniques; and a k=11 cyclotron for the production of the radioisotope Flourine-18 for supplying to local nuclear medicine facilities for imaging purposes. Accelerators at the Gauteng site include a 6MV tandem accelerator with a specialised high energy analysis system for Atomic Mass Spectrometry (AMS), and two low energy electrostatic accelerators for ion implantation and other surface science studies.
iThemba LABS brings together scientists working in the physical, medical and biological sciences. The facilities provide opportunities for research in subatomic physics, material research, radiobiology, and the research and development of unique radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industrial applications. iThemba LABS have various collaboration agreements and joint training programmes with Higher Education Institutions and research laboratories around the world as a means to contribute to the human capital development mandate of the NRF.