The Accelerator Laboratory is one of the largest university ion irradiation facilities in the U.S. A total of five accelerators are able to deliver virtually all ions in the elemental table with ion energy from a few hundred eV to a few MeVs. The lab provides unique capabilities to perform accelerator based irradiation studies on various nuclear materials. The Accelerator Laboratory is also very active in multidisciplinary research, including fundamental ion solid interactions, accelerator based ion beam mixing, ion beam assisted film deposition, ion doping, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, elastic recoil detection analysis, nuclear reaction analysis, and particle induced X-ray emission analysis.
The mission of the Laboratory is to provide an open facility designed to support research and teaching efforts in materials science. The Accelerator Laboratory has played an active role in building an interdisciplinary research program at Texas A&M University. The facilities have provided over five hundred hours of irradiation annually for various collaborative research projects with industry and national laboratories. The facilities provide hands-on training for students across the campus. Once students pass the training and on-site tests, they are qualified as operators to conduct their own research projects using the accelerators.
The key facilities in the Accelerator Laboratory include: a 10 kV Ion Accelerator (with a gas ion source); a 150 kV Ion Accelerator (with a universal ion source); a 200 kV Ion Accelerator (with a universal ion source); a 1 MV Ionex Tandetron Accelerator (with a RF Plasma Source and a SNICS source); a 1.7 MV Ionex Tandetron Accelerator (with a RF Plasma Source and a SNICS source); a high temperature vacuum furnace; a high temperature gas furnace; a four-point-probe resistivity measurement; and various heating and cooling systems for ion irradiations at different temperatures.
All five accelerators provide mass-analyzed ion beams of most of the elements of the periodic table. 1 MV and 1.7 MV ion accelerators are modified General Ionex Tandetron accelerators. Each of them has its own scanning systems, electrostatic deflectors, an injector and an analyzing magnet. The general purpose chamber has been equipped with numerous unique designs for various ion beam applications.