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High-Intensity Ion Source Development for a Pulsed Linear Accelerator Structure

R Alibazi Behbahani1*, Q Diot1 , B Kavanagh1 , N Serkova1 , M Miften1 , D Westerly1 , (1) University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO


(Sunday, 7/14/2019) 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall | Forum 3

Purpose: Our group has built a pulse line ion accelerator (PLIA) for biomedical applications, including isotope production for PET imaging. PLIA is designed to accelerate short (~100 ns), intense ion bunches to energies of a few MeV/nucleon. In this work, we report on the development of a dense plasma focus (DPF) ion source compatible with the PLIA structure.

Methods: DPF devices use a high-voltage, low-pressure gas discharge to produce a transient plasma. Magnetic fields compress the plasma, resulting in emission of intense pulsed ion beams with temporal duration on the order of 10’s of ns. To provide sufficient ion beam current and energy to the PLIA, a 2.4 kJ DPF has been constructed. The device has been operated with Argon gas and uses a triggered spark gap to switch up to 200 kA at 30 kV. DPF anode voltage and current derivative have been measured using a high-voltage probe and Ragowski coil, respectively.

Results: Operation of the DPF device into a short circuit indicates a total inductance of 180 nH and peak plasma discharge current of 140 kA. Voltage measurements acquired with Argon gas pressure of 0.4-0.6 Torr indicate ion pulse duration of 100 ns. These parameters suggest a peak ion beam current of 14 kA, average energy greater than 100 keV, and current density of 10� A/cm² at the PLIA entrance.

Conclusion: We have constructed a DPF ion source that is compatible with a PLIA structure. Measurements with Argon as the filling gas indicate intense beam generation with pulse lengths comparable to the PLIA acceleration phase. By providing a simple and economical ion accelerator, the DPF/PLIA combination opens new areas of research into high dose-rate radiation biology, LINAC-based pulsed neutron sources, and short-lived radioisotope production.


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