Fundamental Research In Superconducting Rf Cavity Design

The core of an accelerator is the accelerating device that provides the needed voltage for rapid acceleration of particle to high energy. A superconducting cavity can fulfill this goal at much reduced operating cost due to its low consumption of electrical power and its ability to operate at higher beam currents. A well-designed SRF cavity system can be utilized in accelerators for high energy physics research, synchrotron light sources, and many medical and industrial applications for the society at large.

The need of fundamental research in the design of a SRF cavity system has been recognized in many DOE advisory panel reviews in the past. For example, the HEPAP subpanel on Accelerator research reported in 2006 that “There are currently programs in superconducting rf (SRF) at eight US labs and universities. The current level of support seems inadequate given the need for basic understanding of the physics of SRF limitations, materials, and surface properties. The limitation of the rf critical field is not well understood nor the properties that determine it”. The committee further recommended that “We believe that an appropriate goal for the SRF program is that the US achieve and maintain parity in technological competence and industrial capability relative to that of Europe and Japan. Given this goal and the importance of SRF for future projects, we believe that support for fundamental SRF research must be increased. OHEP should also establish programs for SRF similar to those for superconducting magnets, which included the Conductor Development Program (CDP) and the Low Temperature Superconducting Workshop (LTSW) efforts.” The HEPAP P5 panel in 2008 reiterated the need of enhanced fundamental R&D on superconducting rf cavity for the future scientific exploration and industrial applications.

In response to the recommendation from HEPAP, the DOE OHEP office calls for applications with activities in FY 2009 in the development and design of superconducting rf cavity that can substantially improve its performance through better understanding of material properties, surface dynamics, processing procedures, and cavity geometric configurations.

The grant applications should describe the overall project, address the key techniques which will be advanced for the design of SRF cavity, detail how it will substantially improve the performance goals in terms of its gradient, yield, reliability, cost, and life time. A description and justification of the activities to be carried out with the requested funds and the institutions and personnel that will be involved in each effort should be included. The application should justify the benefits and progress to be gained if funding is provided and impacts if it is not. The budget requested should describe the salaries, equipment, supplies, travel and any other items.

Applications will be subjected to scientific merit review (peer review) and will be evaluated against the following evaluation criteria which are listed in descending order of importance codified at 10 CFR 605.10(d):

  1. Scientific and/or Technical Merit of the Project;
  2. Appropriateness of the Proposed Method or Approach;
  3. Competency of Applicant's Personnel and Adequacy of Proposed Resources; and
  4. Reasonableness and Appropriateness of the Proposed Budget.

In addition, an external peer review panel will be convened once a year to give advice to the DOE on the relative merits of existing proposals. Following this competitive process, recommendations will be made to award funding for a limited number of most outstanding proposals.

For further information contact:

Dr. Bruce Strauss
Department of Energy
Office of High Energy Physics
Germantown, Maryland 20874
(301) 903-3705
Fax: (301) 903-2597