High Power Superconducting Continuous Wave Linacs for Protons and Heavy-Ions


High Power Superconducting Continuous Wave Linacs for Protons and Heavy-Ions

Developed at:

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)

Developed in:


Result of NP research:

Spin-off of high power driver linac R&D for the FRIB project

Application currently being supported by:

DOE Office of Nuclear Physics, DOE Office of High Energy Physics, ANL Laboratory Directed Research & Development, Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Impact/benefit to spin-off field:

Enables effective solutions to several national needs, including research, national security, therapeutic isotopes and transmutation of spent nuclear fuel

Argonne National Laboratory has been working on research and development of high power proton and heavy-ion superconducting accelerating cavities for several years. More recently, it developed state-of-the-art cryomodules containing seven superconducting quarter-wave cavities for the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) energy upgrade. Theses cryomodules will increase the ATLAS maximum beam energy by approximately 30%, benefiting many nuclear physics experiments using both stable and radioactive beams (Figure 1). Cavity String Suspended from the Lid

The cryomodule design incorporates several innovative features. It separates the cavity vacuum space from the insulating vacuum and cancels the beam steering effects due to RF fields. Moreover, novel cleaning techniques have been applied to achieve low-particulate cavity surfaces. These features have resulted in higher accelerating fields and cavity voltages (total of 14.5 MV) [1]. These characteristics are also essential for a long-term reliable accelerator operation.

Linear accelerators (linacs) based on this superconducting technology have several applications, including drivers for production of medical and radio therapeutic isotopes, compact drivers for cargo interrogation for homeland security and transmutation of spent nuclear fuel.


[1] J. Fuerst, “The ATLAS Energy Upgrade Cryomodule” Proc.14th Int. Conf. RF Superconductivity, Sept. 20-25, 2009.