Schonland Research Institute
for
Nuclear Sciences

About the
Ion Beam Microprobe

Nuclear Microprobe Group
SH Connell (SRCNS), RJ Hart (Council for GeoSciences), M Andreoli (Atomic Energy Corporation), E Sideras-Haddad (SRCNS), JPF Sellschop (SRCNS), J Butler(NRL), BP Doyle (SRCNS), IZ Machi (SRCNS), R Maclear (SRCNS), DB Rebuli (SRCNS)
Technical development
T Hollander, E Rood, R Chirwa, O Pekar, M Rebak
Collaborators
D DeBruin(Council of Geosciences), W Przybylowicz, C Smith (AARL), S Bartolucci- Luyckx (Metallurgy), R Boer (Geology), L Freeman (Geology), M Tredoux (UCT), W Przybylowicz (NAC), HJ Annegarn (Schonland), JIW Watterson (Schonland), A Wittenberg (U Hannover)


  1. The Schonland Microprobe Facility
  2. Types of Research Projects Possible
  3. A slide show to Introduce the Microprobe
  4. Images of the facility


The Schonland Microprobe Facility is one of 43 world wide. It is unique in some respects.
  • It can be supplied with both high luminosity proton beams up to 2.5 MeV from a Van de Graaff accelerator as well as high-energy heavy- ion beams from the EN tandem. Logged and routine achievements for protons are 2nA into 5mm spots with 3 mm being the limiting PIXE spot at a few hundred pA. STIM proton resolutions of 0.5 mm have been achieved (<fA). The high energy heavy ions have less luminosity, but they represent a novel development, enabling high contrast STIM tomography as well as 3-D light-ion imaging capability.
  • It has the Oxford Microbeam lenses, still contested as being the superior lens system. It has the proprietary Oxford Microbeam data acquisition system, enabling all features for ion- beam microscopy that are currently considered to be at the frontiers. These include software driven scanning in a wide variety of modes, as well as listmode acquisition and playback. Extensive intelligence is built into the acquisition of PIXE and RBS spectra, so that substantial real time analysis is possible.
  • There is full integration into all Windows 95 applications. This enables rapid production of quality output.
  • Software for PIXE analysis is via the GUPIX program, RBS analysis is via RUMP. Our own software is used for all other data reduction.
  • Recently, PAW++ (the software developed for large CERN collaborations) was ported in our lab to a PC environment and front-ended to a CAMAC based multi-parameter event handler. This has enabled fluid inclusion research (geological) at vastly improved sensitivity as well as the next generation of increased efficiency light-ion imaging.
  • The microprobe chamber is fully automated mechanically, electronically and in the vacuum systems. The chamber exhibits the full suite of conventional Ion Beam Analysis techniques, implemented in micro-scanned mode.

Types of Research Projects Possible

The unit provides a suite of Ion-Beam Analytical techniques (in micro-scanning mode).

  • m-PIXE (Proton Induced X-ray Emmission)
  • m-STIM (Scanned Transmission Ion-beam Microscopy)
  • m-RBS (Rutherford Back-Scattering)
  • m-NRA (Nuclear Reaction Analysis)
  • m-ERDA (Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis)
  • m-Channeling - in conjunction with PIXE, ERDA, NRA, RBS etc.
Objectives :
  • Promotion of (good) (multi-disciplinary) research by the provision of a user-friendly and reliable infrastructure (instrumentation, operators, computational facilities, physicists).
  • Continuous development of microprobe instrumentation, focusing on aspects - new and unique to the laboratories capabilities.
  • Improving the User base as well as encouraging commercial customers (in research projects). Aiming at convincing the Faculty of the value of the facility in the longer term.



Images of the facility
View the Microprobe End Station

View the schematic layout 
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  Last Updated: 31 February 2002