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Tubular Electron String Ion Sourse


Electron String Systems of Tubular Geometry for Researches in Atomic and Nuclear Physics and for Application in Accelerator Technique and Development of Nanotechnologies

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-PFA/Particles, Fields and Accelerator Physics/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Malakhov Yu I

Leading Institute
Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Russia, Moscow reg., Dubna

Supporting institutes

  • VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • University of British Columbia / TRIUMF, Canada, BC, Vancouver\nAtomic Energy Canada Limited, Canada, ON, Chalk River

Project summary

The main goals of the project are studies and development of a novel type charge particle trap apparatus, based on an intelligent use of an electron string phenomenon in a tubular geometry, which can be used in the following applications:
  • Production of high intensity highly charged (including radioactive) and polarized ion beams in both pulse and average current modes for further injection into accelerators [1];
  • Formation of the positron-emitting ion beams 11C6+ applied simultaneously as for cancer treatment so for positron-emission tomography [2];
  • Precise measurements of fusion reaction cross sections for bare nuclei at low energies, including polarization effects, inspired also by the nuclear astrophysics problems [3-4];
  • Production of anti-Hydrogen;
  • Formation of high intensity beams of highly charged metallic ions of Fe, Ni, Cu for risk estimations under low dose exposure in space [5];
  • Ion implantation and nanotechnologies.

The latest developments in an electron beam ion source (EBIS) physics and technology, such as the reflex mode of EBIS operation and tubular version of EBIS were proposed and partially realized by the participants of the project teams, and their many years experience and leading positions in EBIS-related physics and technology seems to be a main foundation for a successful project fulfillment. Indeed, it was found, that under certain conditions [6] one component pure electron plasma, which consists of the multiply reflected electrons, confined in a strong magnetic filed, exhibits a step-like transition to a new steady state, called electron string [7-8]. Electron strings are found to be stable in a certain frames that allows to use them for an effective production of a highly charged ions in Electron String Ion Sources (ESIS), similarly to electron beams in EBIS [9]. These results were confirmed independently in a various centers and now studies of electron strings and its applications are in a progress in JINR (Dubna), BNL (Upton, USA), MSL (Stockholm), IAP (Frankfurt) [9].

The upper limit of the ion output for linear ESIS is the same as for the usual linear EBIS, since this limit is determined by a virtual cathode formation at certain perveance in the electron drift space, which does not allow to increase in the number of stored electrons of a definite energy. There only way to increase it is to use a tubular electron string in a system with the internal and external tubular walls. In such a system the limiting perveance increases linearly with the tubular beam/string radius, hence such Tubular Electron String Ion Source (TESIS) could provide 2 to 3 orders of magnitude increase in ion output compared to a linear electron string ion source. Very recently the technical solution of TEBIS and TESIS sources with an off-axis ion extraction was proposed [10], which provides a conservation of small ion beam emittance, peculiar to EBIS and ESIS, that solves the problem of effective injection of ion beams, produced by TESIS/TEBIS, into accelerators.

The main result of the project fulfillment is expected to be a working Tubular Electron String Ion Source (TESIS) with off-axis ion extraction for production of high intensity pulse (10 mА) and average (10 mcА) current of ions like Ar16+ and fundamental information on physics in TESIS, which will lead to creation of a “new generation” ion sources for following applications:

  1. A high pulse intensity and low emittance of ion beams, obtained with TESIS, are essential for single turn injection into synchrotron accelerators; it is expected that TESIS will provide all modern and near future requests to ion beams in both basic studies with relativistic heavy ions and in applications, for example, in the inertia fusion studies; in realization of the cancer treatment by positron-emitting carbon ions 11C6++ used simultaneously for positron-emission tomography; in risk estimations under a low dose in space; in ion implantation and nanotechnologies;
  2. A high average intensity of highly charged ion beams, produced by TESIS, is applicable in any type of other accelerators (pulse cyclotrons), providing corresponding increase in intensity and broadening a set of accelerating particles;
  3. Creation of a new type of apparatus, based on a tubular electron string, for precision measurements of fusion reaction cross sections at low energies (in the region of the Solar Gamov peak) for nuclear reactions between bare nuclei [4, 11]. The knowledge of those cross sections is extremely important for the proof of the Standard Solar Model and in neutrino physics;
  4. New types of industrial TESIS-based apparatus for ion implantation can be constructed with a relatively low voltage, using highly charged ions instead of single charged ones. It is actually for the nanotechnologies in microelectronics and in other technique fields;
  5. The positron string source (PSS), based on the technology of electron string production can be applied for storage of positron strings cooled down to the cryogenics temperatures of 0.05 meV [12]. According to this proposal, the positron flux at the energy of 1 –5 eV is injected into the PSS, which has a construction similar to TESIS. The low energy positrons are captured in the PSS Penning trap placed in the applied magnetic field of 5 –10 T. The low energy positrons are cooled down caused by their synchrotron radiation in the strong magnetic field. The number of stored positrons can achieve up to 1010 cooled positrons that is 2 orders of magnitude higher than in all existing projects. Formation of ultra cooled positrons permits to obtain antihydrogen atoms.

  1. E. Beebe et al., “Development of an Electron-Beam Ion Source for a Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider Preinjector”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 67 (1996) 878; T. Nakagawa et al,, “Recent Performances of Japanese ECR”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71 (2000) 637; B. H. Wolf et al.,“Commissioning results from the REXEBIS Charge Breeder”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73 (2002) 682.
  2. S. Hojo, T. Honma, Y. Sakomoto, S. Yamada Production of 11C-beam for Particle Therapy, NIM B 240 (2005) 75.
  3. M. Junker et al., Phys. Rev. C57 (1998) 2700.
  4. T. Itahashi, et al., “Design of an Ion Trap for Nuclear Astrophysics Researches”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73 (2002) 667.
  5. E. D. Donets, E. E. Donets, E.M. Syresin, K. Noda, A. Kitagawa, Possibilities of a heavy ion injection in the HIMAC based on the electron string ion source, HIMAC-2004, Japan, 2004.
  6. E.D. Donets, “Review of Recent Developments for Electron Beam Ion Sources”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 67 (1996) 873; E.D. Donets, “Histrorical Review of Electron Beam Ion Sources”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 69(2) (1998) 614.
  7. E.D.Donets, D.E. Donets, E.D. Donets ”Ion source”, Patent RU 2067784, Bull. “Izobretenija”, 27, Moscow, 1996.
  8. E.D. Donets et al., “A Study of Electron Strings and Their Use for Efficient Production of Highly Charged Ions”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71(2) (2000), 896; ibid, 810.
  9. D.E.Donets et al., “Studies of the Electron String Mode of EBIS Operation”, AIP Conf. Proc. 572 (2001) 103.
  10. E.D.Donets, D.E. Donets, E.E. Donets ”Ion source”, Patent RU 2205467, Bull. “Izobretenija”, 15, Moscow, 2003.; E.D. Donets et al.,”Tubular Electron Beam Ion Source”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73 (2002) 696.
  11. T. Itahashi, et al., “Design of an Ion Trap for Nuclear Astrophysics Researches”, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73 (2002) 667.
  12. E. D. Donets, A.E. Dubinov, T. Itahashi et al.,”Formation of high intensive positron strings”, Review of Scientific Instruments 75 (2004).


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