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Multi-Charged Ion Source with High Ionization Efficiency


Design, Manufacturing and Tests of Short Pulse ECR Multi-Charged Ion Source Prototype with High Ionization Efficiency

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OTH/Other/Physics
  • PHY-PLS/Plasma Physics/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Malakhov Yu I

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Applied Physics, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod


  • CERN, Switzerland, Geneva\nLaboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses, France, Grenoble\nConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche / Instituto di Fisica del Plasma, Italy, Milan

Project summary

The EURO-nu European program (2008-2012) is a design study to review the three currently accepted methods permitting to build a high intensity neutrino facility in Europe. The Beta Beam project [1] is one of these three methods. Its purpose is to accelerate and to store short-lived radioactive ion beams (produced by the ISOL method) in order to produce intense neutrino beams emitted by the decay. The acceleration scheme is based on the use of existing CERN accelerators PS and SPS to limit the construction costs. The radioactive atoms have to be ionized by an ion source with a very high efficiency and with a bunching capability in order to fit the beam time structure of the accelerators.

The present proposed project is aimed at developing, manufacturing and testing prototypes of short-pulse ( hundred microseconds) ECR ion sources with high ionization efficiency for gases and metallic ions (He, Ne, Li, B) suitable for the Beta Beam project.

The research done in IAP RAS within the framework of ISTC Project № 2753 demonstrated that one of the ways of creating such a source is to use a plasma confined in a quasi-gasdynamic regime in axially symmetric magnetic trap and heated by powerful pulsed gyrotron radiation with a microwave frequency of 60 GHz under the electron-cyclotron resonance condition. In our preliminary experiments with gyrotrons we obtained pulsed ion beams with an intensity of 150 mA, pulse durations of about 100 s and fronts of about 20 s and normalized emittance of 0.9 π∙mm∙mrad. The achieved parameters permit us to believe that it will be possible to create a multicharged ion source (MIS) with required parameters and high ionization efficiency of the radioactive atoms.

The project will be carried out by researchers of four institutes: IAP RAS (Russia), LPSC and LNCMI (CNRS-France), and CERN (Switzerland). At the initial stage of the project implementation, it is intended to undertake experimental study using upgraded equipment in IAP RAS that will allow us to:

  • Choose the optimal configuration for the magnetic trap,
  • Find the optimal gyrotron parameters,
  • Develop electrodynamic system of microwave radiation input into plasma.
  • Develop an ion extraction system from dense ECR plasmas
  • Study ion charge state distribution into a plasma
  • Estimation of gas ionization efficiency

In this research, we intend to use pulsed (pulse duration from 100 to 1000 s) gyrotron radiation at microwave frequencies of 37 and 75 GHz, with power levels of hundreds of kilowatts. An axially symmetric pulsed magnetic trap with opposite fields (CUSP) and a simple magnetic mirror with magnetic field intensity up to 5 Tesla will be used as magnetic systems for plasma confinement.

At the second stage, source prototype with parameters demanded for the Beta Beam project will be designed, fabricated, and tested in Grenoble (France). The key elements of the facility are a pulsed gyrotron at a frequency of about 60 GHz and power of 100 kW for producing and confining plasma under ECR conditions, and a unique continuous magnetic trap with a magnetic field intensity up to 7 Tesla. These devices will be developed and fabricated at IAP RAS (Russia) and at LPSC and LNCMI (France) that are world leaders in these fields. Thus, the joints efforts of IAP RAS and collaborating institutes, as well as fruitful earlier co-operative work on the ISTC project № 2753 promise successful realization of the proposed project.

Note that the use of different conditions for producing and confining plasma with these new devices, in particular when using a cw gyrotron operation, will allow investigation of plasma with unique parameters (density up to 1014 cm-3, electron temperature about 1000 eV) and will permit to reach the highest specific power input ever produced in an ECR ion source (up to 1 kW/cm3 at cw gyrotron operation), which is roadmap defined worldwide for the development of next generation MCI sources.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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