Creation of new DC-140 Accelerator gaining momentum at JINR

News, 20 July 2023

Specialists continue to create the DC-140 Accelerator Complex at the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions JINR. The complex is being created to solve applied problems, namely research on solid state physics and surface modification of materials, production of track membranes and testing of electronic component base, etc. On 12 July, specialists completed the installation of the main magnet of the cyclotron. It is planned to put the accelerator into operation in one and a half to two years.

There are currently four cyclotrons for accelerating heavy ions in FLNR JINR, namely U-400, U-400M, IC-100, and DC-280, as well as the MT-25 Microtron electron accelerator. At present, experts are modernising the U-400M Cyclotron. The U-400 Cyclotron is actively used to conduct scientific experiments and carry out applied tasks. In 2018, the DC-280 Cyclotron was launched. The DC-280 Cyclotron is a basic facility of the Superheavy Element Factory that has a beam intensity of 40 trillion nuclei per second. It is 5 times more than its predecessor, the U-400 Cyclotron, at which element 118 was opened, had. The Superheavy Element Factory consists of the DC-280 Cyclotron and new separators. This combination has significantly increased the efficiency of research, which was experimentally confirmed. The complex was designed to create new superheavy elements and study their chemical properties.

The DC-140 Accelerator Complex will replace the existing IC-100 Cyclotron. The DC-140 Cyclotron will allow researchers to obtain beams of accelerated ions, including from oxygen to bismuth. The cyclotron will operate in two modes. Scientists will accelerate ions with a mass-to-charge ratio from 7.35 to 8.25 to an energy of 2.1 MeV/nucleon. As for ions with a mass-to-charge ratio from 4.9 to 5.5, they will be accelerated to an energy of 4.8 MeV/nucleon. The complex will include three experimental channels with irradiation stations located in two isolated halls. An irradiation station of samples with an intensity of up to 1012 hours/sec, as well as a station for irradiating electronic components with a special low-intensity beam monitoring system, will be in the first hall. In the second hall, there will be a station for irradiating polymer films to produce track membranes. The new accelerator complex will take over the main part of the applied tasks carried out at FLNR.

“The main problem of the new complex is to locate it inside the existing building. The complex requires both the placement of experimental equipment and the construction of physical protection for working with accelerated beams. It requires unusual solutions. At the first stage, we prepared premises, created the basis for the placement of the walls of a cyclotron hall and equipment. We also prepared the bases of the main magnet. On 12 July, specialists installed the main 320-tonne magnet. At the moment, we are preserving it so that builders will be able to continue to erect the walls of the cyclotron hall, the surrounding ceilings. At the same time, specialists are reconstructing the room in which the engineering systems are located. It is necessary to strengthen the load-bearing structures of walls and ceilings here. In addition, various enterprises continue to deliver manufactured cyclotron units,” Head of the Scientific and Technical Accelerator Department of the Chief Engineer Department of FLNR JINR Vasiliy Semin.

According to him, all construction and preparatory work will be completed by the middle of 2024. By the beginning of 2025, it is planned to complete the commissioning of the accelerator complex systems and put it into operation.