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Welcome to iThemba Laboratories for Accelerator Based Sciences (LABS)

Africa’s leading research facility for accelerator based science that is committed to:

  • advance knowledge,
  • transform lives and,
  • inspire a nation

by probing fundamental structure and the origins of matter, advancing the understanding of condensed matter, and impacting the societal need through provision for the health and environmental sector.

For the latest developments at iThemba LABS, read the message from the director.

iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) is the largest multidisciplinary national research facility in South Africa and the largest accelerator facility in the southern hemisphere. With a permanent staff complement of approximately 270 members, 15 post-docs and 90 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, the facility’s operational infrastructure is sited at two campuses, with the main site in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg. The research programs of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) group are undertaken using the 6MV Tandem accelerator, while those of the Material Research group are generally carried out with the aid of both the 3MV Tandetron and the 6MV Tandem accelerators. The Radioisotope, Radiation Biophysics, and Subatomic Physics research groups primarily rely on the K = 200 Separated Sector Cyclotron (SSC) accelerator for their research programs.
It is important to highlight that iThemba LABS is not a conventional facility when compared to other facilities of similar size across the world. With the recent history of South Africa, the landscape for research and technical skills is still in a developing phase, and the mission of iThemba LABS has education and training as one of its main areas of focus in addition to creating a unique research environment. Catering, as it does, to training of postgraduate students and young research scientists from both South Africa and the rest of the African continent, iThemba LABS presents a truly unique, cosmopolitan, and multicultural research environment.
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The Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences is actually a collection of THREE laboratories, namely

  • The Separated Sectors Cyclotron (SSC) Laboratory that provides ion beams to advance our understanding of the heart of matter and the fuel of stars, as well as the interaction of radiation with biological systems
  • The Tandetron Laboratory offering Ion-Beam Analysis techniques such as PIXE, ERDA and RBS for application in Materials Research, Material Engineering and Nano-science
  • The Tandem and Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (TAMS) Laboratory offering another and complementary tool for Ion-beam Analysis technique and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry as a multidisciplinary research tool
    Read more…

COVID-19 update:

iThemba LABS operations are limited under COVID-19 lockdown regulations
For any covid-19 related issues / queries please contact:

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South African Isotope Facility (SAIF)

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