Activities at iThemba LABS are based around a number of sub-atomic particle accelerators. The largest of these, a k-200 separated sector cyclotron, accelerates 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, and a 6MV Van de Graaff electrostatic accelerator. Accelerators at the Gauteng site include a 6MV tandem Van de Graaff electrostatic accelerator 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 modern research, advanced education, the treatment of cancers, and the production of unique radioisotopes.
The focus is on providing scientifically and medically useful radiation through the acceleration of charged particles using the Separated Sector Cyclotron, the Van der Graaff Accelerator and other appropriate technologies. iThemba LABS is to be the primary center of expertise in radiation medicine and nuclear science and technologies to advance the knowledge and health of the people of Africa.