In keeping with the directive of the NRF in order to obtain funding, an essential ingredient of the work of this research area is the supervision and co-supervision of postgraduate students and their active involvement in research activities associated with Ion Beam analysis methods.
The following areas have been identified for research in experimental Ion Beam techniques: experiments that make use of PIXE (Particle Induced X-ray Emission), Channelling, ERDA (Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis) and RBS (Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy). These areas of research are being developed on the Micro-probe beam line recently refurbished 6MV Tandem Van de Graaff accelerator.
Added advantages that will enhance accessibility in research areas associated with above research techniques arise from formal agreements reached with TAMS, NECSA and University of Pretoria to make their accelerators accessible to the nation through the formal governing structures that have been set-up within TAMS. The University of Pretoria has a 2MV Van de Graaff accelerator that is capable of producing H and He beams for research activities in the area of RBS, NRA and Channelling. NECSA’s 4MV accelerator produces H, He, N and Co beams for experiments such as PIXE and RBS. Both accelerators are in good working condition.
Under the ongoing refurbishment activities as well as the existing research facilities in the said two institutions, the involvement of researchers in related fields is sought to extend the utilization of these facilities. Especially, it is called upon from universities across the country to begin instituting Masters and Doctorate research programmes that are aligned with the above research areas for the benefit of universities, researchers and, most importantly, production of high quality Masters and Doctorate students in the said fields.