CE31 - Physique Subatomique, Sciences de l'Univers, Structure et Histoire de la Terre

Target Ion Source for Short-Lived Ion Production – TULIP

TULIP : Target Ion Sources for Short-Lived Ion Production

The study of exotic nuclei is one of the main avenues of research with a high potential for discoveries worldwide. The TULIP project aims to enhance near-term nuclear physics research possibilities by creating unique radioactive ion beams (RIB) for ambitious subatomic experiments at the national flagship facility SPIRAL based at the Grand Accélérateur National d’Ions Lourds (GANIL) in Caen.

Speed and efficiency for exotic short-lived radioactive ion beams

Speed and efficiency are of the essence and must be tweaked to first produce short-lived (tens of milliseconds) alkali RIB before moving to the ultimate goal of metallic RIB in the region of 100Sn. These target-ion sources are designed to operate in extreme environments, and rely on materials able to withstand the effects of high temperatures and high doses. A knowledgeable mix of both robust and innovative technologies is used to explore RIB production through fusion-evaporation nuclear reactions.

Innovative nano-technology materials, extreme environment target developments and internal functions are developed and tested offline in test-bench experiments at GANIL. The final systems are then tested online, using the primary beams of the ALTO platform at IJCLab (Orsay), where alkali and metallic ions are produced in fusion-evaporation experiments. Each aspect of the project: nuclear reactions, targets, cavity materials, thermal, electrical and mechanical technologies are individually addressed and fine-tuned in a multi-parameter experimental program.

Nuclear fusion-evaporation experiments have been carried out successfully on the ALTO platform and the production rate of several radioactive isotopes of interest quantified. Irradiation experiments, allowing to characterize material behavior through implant-release measurements have given new and encouraging results on the use of nano-materials in these hostile environments. Offline test-bench studies have provided first proof-of-principle fast ion extraction, in line with the project aims for short-lived ion beam extraction.

The fast response nature of these target-ion sources could allow near-term ambitious fundamental research at SPIRAL1/GANIL, as an preliminary step to the challenges of experiments with very exotic ions at SPIRAL2/DESIR where high efficiency is a pre-requisite for successful observations.

...coming soon

The study of exotic nuclei, or short-lived radioactive nuclear systems, is one of the main avenues of research with a high potential for discoveries worldwide, in modern physics. The production of these systems, in the form of ions, is an essential pre-requisite to advance our understanding of the subatomic world. The national flagship for radioactive ion beam production is the SPIRAL facility and the SPIRAL2 ESFRI roadmap project, based at the Grand Accélerateur National d’Ions Lourds (GANIL) in Caen [1]. The Target Ion Source for Short-Lived Isotope Production (TuLIP) project aims to enhance the near-term nuclear physics research possibilities by creating unique radioactive ion beams for ambitious subatomic experiments at GANIL. This collaborative effort between GANIL and the Institut de Physique Nucléaire in Orsay (IPN) will explore fusion-evaporation nuclear reactions in a new Target-Ion Source System, associated with innovative nano-structured materials specifically developed for nuclear physics research. In-beam tests of common R&D will be carried out using the accelerated tandem beams of the Transnational Access facility ALTO [2], at the IPN. This is a short-term project complementary to other on-going SPIRAL developments and could provide an essential stepping-stone to facilitate the launch of the emblematic research program dedicated to first observations of exotic nuclei.

The first prototype could make post-accelerated alkali radioactive ion beams for near-term experiments a reality by 2021, with low energy metallic beams by 2023 on success of a second R&D prototype. Selective laser-ionization will be investigated at ALTO in 2020 to explore metallic ion production with the first prototype. Results of this work will be openly presented at conferences and appear in peer-reviewed papers. It is expected to benefit a wide community of physicts and stimulate unique physics opportunities.

One of the most promising regions for new physics focusses on the unusual symmetry present in the 100Sn nucleus. This self-conjugate doubly magic nucleus, composed of 50 protons (Z) and 50 neutrons (N) is the most exotic symmetrical nucleus of this type that be created. We aim to produce short-lived radioactive metallic ions around N=Z=50, and this will be our marker of success.

[1] pro.ganil-spiral2.eu/spiral2
[2]http://ipnwww.in2p3.fr/installation-ALTO, ENSAR2 EU HORIZON2020, contrat n°654002

Project coordinator

Madame Marion MacCormick (Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IPNO Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay
GANIL Grand accélérateur national d'ions lourds

Help of the ANR 419,385 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2019 - 48 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter