Analytical Services 3

ANALYTICAL SERVICES

ION BEAM ANALYSIS
In IBA, beams of charged particles are focused on a target resulting in various interactions between the atoms in the target and the charged particles in the beam. The radiation that emerges from the interaction (scattered particles from Coulombic interactions, emitted photons from excited atoms and reaction products from nuclear reactions) is detected and their properties such as energy, are measured yielding information on the composition of the target and distribution of the elements in the target.

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NUCLEAR MICROPROBE
The nuclear microprobe (NMP) was installed on the 0° beam line of the single-ended 6MV Van de Graaff accelerator in 1991. The NMP system is now highly automated with most of the NMP being computer-controlled. Since its installation it has been successfully used in the analysis of samples from fields including archaeology, biology, geology, materials science and medicine.

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SAMPLE PREPARATION
We have a vacuum chamber using a titanium boat to heat a metal for the evaporation of thin layers of metals on a target. We have used it for Aluminium, Gold and Lithium. We also have prepared thick targets. 0.5mm, 1mm and 3mm Lithium targets using a 5-ton press in an Argon environment and then enclosing the Lithium using 10µm Havar foil. We also have a vacuum chamber to Carbon coat an insulated target using a hated 3mm Graphite rod.

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X-RAY DIFFRACTION LABORATORY
Recently, an X-ray Diffractometry Facility was established at the Materials Research. The establishment of this facility will provide researchers locally and nationally with access to modern state-of-the-art x-ray diffraction equipment. X-ray diffractometry is the only method that permits the direct identification of any crystalline material based on their unique crystal structure.

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From the Director’s Office

A New Year brings new opportunities to share a vision, build collaborations and shape the future.

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Corporate Profile

Corporate profile of iThemba LABS in February issue of Leadership Magazine p. 68-69

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Physics Masterclasses

The International Masterclasses in Particle Physics will be held on 1st April at iThemba LABS. These classes give secondary school students the opportunity to discover the world of quarks and leptons for themselves.
See Gallery of images from last year's masterclass

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SA-CERN Collaboration

Big data science in South Africa reaching new funding highs through the South African CERN collaboration

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