LIBRA Partner Institutions (PIs)                                      (in alphabetical order)

AGLAE - C2RMF, Paris, France

The group of AGLAE at the C2RMF, Paris, directed by Dr. Philip Walter, is carrying out forefront research in the field of the ion beam analysis of Cultural Heritage materials and it is recognized by the international scientific community a center of excellence offering to the European community a transnational access through the Eu-Artech integrated infrastructure.  For more than 14 years, an IBA facility has been operated in the Louvre for the study of works of art and archaeology. The choice of this equipment derives from the non-destructive character of IBA techniques which has been further strengthened by designing an external beam line permitting the in-air analysis of large or fragile works of art without sampling. Successive improvements have markedly extended the analytical capability of the set-up. The measurements were originally restricted to PIXE–PIGE combination using an external millimetre-sized-beam. By adding a focusing system and an ultra-thin exit window we were able to obtain external beams of protons and alpha particles of respectively 10 and 50 lm in diameter, with low energy straggling. These features have permitted to apply in external beam mode other IBA techniques including RBS, NRA and more recently ERDA. Moreover, elemental maps can be drawn in PIXE and PIGE modes by mechanically scanning the sample under the fixed beam within a lateral range much larger than conventional nuclear microprobes. This facility is used for both short investigations at the request of museum curators and extensive research works in art history and archaeology. The partnership with AGLAE aims also at the advanced training of young researchers in the development and applications of ion-microbeam techniques, in particular in the cultural heritage field.   [top] [AGLAE homepage]

Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse (CSNSM), Orsay, France

CSNSM is a multidisciplinary research institute: Its scientific programme includes: nuclear structure and fundamental interactions, solid state physics, materials irradiations, dating and environment and nuclear astrophysics. These disciplines have been served by CSNSM at a level of excellence over the past 20 years. In the domain of nuclear astrophysics, CSNSM has delivered important scientific results related to the understanding of stellar evolution through the study of key reactions, such as 12C(α,γ)16O, and its prominent scientific role in this field is well recognized by the international scientific community. In fact, CSNSM scientists under leadership of Dr. Anne Lefebvre-Schuhl, were the first to implement multi-detector arrays, such as EUROGAM, in nuclear astrophysics measurements in which INP members have also participated during 2000 and 2004. What’s more, CSNSM has decisively contributed to the solution of the solar neutrino problem with its studies of the 7Be(p,γ)8B reaction. The latter achievement of CSNSM was made possible by using PAPAP, the Petit Accelerateur Pour AstroPhysique, a 250 kV electrostatic accelerator that, due to lack of man-power at CSNSM, is now offered to the Tandem Accelerator Laboratory of "Demokritos" who has co-funded its construction. PAPAP will be hosted by the INP Tandem Lab in response to the strong interest of many European groups to launch research programs around PAPAP. INP and CSNSM are planning to transport PAPAP from Orsay to Athens in early 2010 and exchange scientists and technical personnel necessary for its re-installation at "Demokritos". Furthermore, a research program around PAPAP, open to any European group will be elaborated.   [top] [CSNSM homepage]

Dynamitron-Tandem-Laboratorium (DTL), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany

DTL is the major laboratory of the RUBION Central Facility of the Ruhr-University Bochum. The main activities of the DTL group focus on the studies on thermonuclear reaction rates in quiescent burning phases of stellar evolution, where the group plays a worldwide leading role during the last 30 years. In fact, the name of the Bochum group leader, Prof. Claus Rolfs, is connected with the establishment of Nuclear Astrophysics as an independent research field. Many of the nuclear (astro)physicists have been inspired by his work and learned nuclear astrophysics through his famous book “Cauldrons in the Cosmos”. The most important contributions of the Bochum group during the last years were achieved by developing new target and detection techniques, such as the recoil seperator ERNA, realized within a wide European collaboration. The development of new detection techniques is also crucial in investigating of proton- and alpha-particle-induced capture reactions, important for more advanced stellar evolution scenarios namely the p-process and the question of the synthesis of heavy elements. This work is pursued in close cooperation with the "Demokritos" Tandem group and major progress was achieved recently by improving our understanding of the operation of an existing large summing detector, which led to a novel experimental approach in data-taking and to important publications for the understanding of the nuclear processes relevant to the p-process. In addition to these joint activities, INP and DTL have published very important results on the 13C(α,n)16O reaction that, apart from its relevance to astrophysics at low energies, is the major background inducing reaction in the detection of geo-neutrinos by the KamLAND detector. LIBRA and DTL are strongly collaborating to a) develop a novel a 4π calorimeter for the study of capture reactions, b) optimize an array of particle detectors to be employed in the study of the 12C+12C reaction at low energies, and c) exchange know-how and expertise not only in the field of nuclear astrophysics measurements but also in the application of nuclear analytical techniques, especially for the study of geological samples, including the employment of the micro-beam system to be installed at the "Demokritos" Tandem Laboratory.   [top] [DTL homepage]

Edwards Accelerator Laboratory (EAL) - Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

EAL was established in the late sixties. The 4.5 million Volt Tandem accelerator is still being used today and the breadth of research covered now includes materials science as well as nuclear physics. Materials science includes work that comes directly from the application of nuclear physics discoveries as well as work that uses the Accelerator Laboratory facilities to characterize or modify materials. With the founding in 1994 of the M. Keck Thin Firm Analysis Facility, the materials science capabilities of the Accelerator Laboratory were greatly extended. The range of materials analysis capabilities here are not found in any other U.S. universities or national laboratories. This facility is now unique in the United States in the extent of both the nuclear physics and materials science research that mav be undertaken. It was recognized by the Ohio Board of Regents as part of the Center for Excellence in Surface and Thin film Analysis (CESTA). Many types of nuclear research are carried out at the laboratory including nuclear astrophysics, but the main emphasis is given on studies with secondary neutron beams. Looking to the future, the laboratory is expanding its current program of neutron cross section measurements of the elements and has significantly upgraded the sophisticated equipment necessary to remain at "state-of-the art". ln 1980, the first architectural change in the building was made since its construction in 1967 when a new "time-of-flight tunnel" was placed deeply underground in vacant land of the building. This addition - together with some sophisticated new research equipment (beam swinger) has extended the research capability of the laboratory by a significant amount. The laboratory is also well equipped for study of (n,z) reactions, that is, processes in which a neutron strikes a nucleus and releases a charged particle. These (n,z) reactions are of importance in radiation therapy for cancer as well as fission reactor design.  The combination of a high current accelerator, a long flight path in the new tunnel, and a pair of "state-of-the-art" (n,z) spectrometers make it possible to study at Ohio University problems which include questions as fundamental as how nuclei are held together and as applied as measuring data needed for implementing cancer therapy. The tandem accelerator at the Ohio University Edwards Accelerator Lab is identical to the accelerator at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, NCSR "Demokritos" in Athens, Greece.  These were the only two of this model of accelerator ever built by the manufacturer.  This unique relationship between the two  laboratories lends itself to the need for exchanging know-how and expertise to improve and preserve the operation and performance of these world-wide unique accelerators.  

[top] [EAL homepage]

Institut d' Astronomie et d' Astrophysique (IAA), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

IAA is part of the Physics Department of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. For several decades, the IAA has been recognized internationally as a center of excellence in the field of nuclear astrophysics, either theoretical or experimental (observations). Five staff members are involved in this type of research, along with several Ph.D. students, foreign visitors and a number of Marie-Curie fellows. IAA has coordinated two research networks financed by the European Commission, and has been the leading laboratory in many other national and international collaborations. On the more theoretical side, the IAA has coordinated the worldwide known NACRE compilation of nuclear reaction rates for astrophysical purposes that is a standard reference in nuclear astrophysics and in stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis. This compilation has been complemented with an extended nuclear database involving experimental and theoretical reaction rates, beta-decay rates, nuclear masses, fission barriers, for use in astrophysical modelings. These nuclear astrophysics activities are complemented with a related research in stellar evolution with the aim of better understanding certain classes of chemically peculiar stars, especially on the Asymptotic Giant Branch. Various observational programmes are also actively conducted at ESO or at Observatoire de Haute Provence in order to better characterize the chemical peculiarities of these stars. Nucleosynthesis processes responsible for the production of the heavy (i.e heavier than iron) nuclei are also studied in great detail. These concern the so-called s-, r-, and p-processes. New techniques have been developed to improve the astrophysics as well as nuclear physics description of these processes. These theoretical activities are intimately related to the LIBRA activities. In the past decades, important effort has been made at the IAA to improve the theoretical predictions of experimentally unknown reaction rates, and consequently of all the nuclear ingredients of relevance in reaction rates calculations. For more than 15 years, the IAA in collaboration with other partners has developed microscopic models of the nucleus that can predict the various nuclear properties, including the nuclear masses, with a high precision and unprecedented reliability. Through this research work, the IAA is now recognized as a world leading group in the development of nuclear mass calculation for astrophysics applications. The INP group is experienced in nuclear structure and reaction rates calculations and is collaborating with IAA in further developing microscopic models for the determination of nuclear data and astrophysics applications.       

[top] [IAA homepage]

Institut für Kernphysik (IKP) - Universität zu Köln, Cologne, Germany

The Institute of Nuclear Physics of the University of Cologne (short IKP) plays a very prominent role within the international nuclear physics community: A significant number of pioneering investigations focussed on the understanding of nuclear structure have been first realized at the in-house FN 10 MV Tandem accelerator. As first to mention is the worldwide leading role of IKP in lifetime measurements based on the Recoil-Distance Doppler Shift method (RDDS), often called “the plunger method”. This method is best suited for determining lifetimes in the pico-second region of excited nuclear states and the scientific instrument to achieve this is the “plunger apparatus”. Though the method was developed in the early seventies, very few groups have really recognized its scientific potential. The Cologne group was the only group that in the last 15 years has continuously implemented a severe number of technical improvements that led to the present basic configuration of the, now, famous, “Cologne plunger apparatus”. Apart from these developments, the group was additionally focussed on the analysis procedures of the experimental data acquired in plunger measurements. It was the first to apply γ-γ-coincidence measurements in plunger experiments in order to disentangle the major problem encountered in lifetime measurements of states populated in heavy-ion fusion reactions, i.e., the so-called side feeding. Once this problem was solved, the Cologne group could demonstrate that a severe number of previous measurements were completely wrong and the theoretical description of many nuclei had to be reconsidered. In short, the Cologne Group achieved a breakthrough in understanding nuclear structure phenomena. By using the plunger method, the group was one of the first that confirmed the phenomenon of shape-phase transitions in nuclei (critical-point symmetries). Apart from these activities the Cologne group has decisively contributed to the development of novel multi-detector arrays which have brought us many steps ahead in the observation of exciting nuclear phenomena, such as the superdeformation. In this direction, IKP was the major driving force for the design and construction of the MINIBALL array, hosted at ISOLDE/CERN, a unique tool for nuclear physicists to pursue their program using radioactive beams. The LIBRA group is interested in incorporating the unique know-how and expertise of the Cologne group in the plunger technique, and construct a plunger device specially for the MINIBALL array that will allow the INP group to perform experiments, as a key actor and initiator, not only at ISOLDE/CERN but also at centres that will host MINIBALL in the near future. In addition to the activities, LIBRA is collaborating with IKP in the program related to the understanding of the p-process nucleosynthesis: The group of Andreas Zilges has been running a program of cross-section measurements of neutron, proton and alpha-particle photodisintegrations, the inverse reactions to those studied by "Demokritos".Both institutes have a complementary program in nuclear astrophysics with the same aim, i.e. to optimize nuclear physics parameters for astrophysical abundance calculations.   [top] [IKP homepage]

LAboratorio BEni Culturali (LABEC), INFN, Florence, Italy

LABEC is a laboratory in the Sezione di Firenze of INFN, established with the main purpose of performing applications of nuclear techniques in the field of problems related to the Cultural Heritage. Its acronym, indeed (LAboratorio BEni Culturali), recalls just this "mission", however, applications of nuclear techniques also to other fields are currently being performed: studies on environmental problems (mainly, but not only, air quality monitoring), and applications to geological studies and to material science. The main equipment of LABEC is a Tandem accelerator, 3 MV terminal voltage, equipped with three independent ion sources, one of which is dedicated to measurements of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) while the other two sources are used to produce all kinds of beams (from protons to heavy ions) mainly for applications of Ion Beam Analysis (IBA). Besides the accelerator, LABEC hosts dedicated laboratories for: sample preparation for AMS; R&D of electronics; ultra-high vacuum tests; detector repair and development. LABEC for a long time had been involved in state-of-the art applications of Ion Beam Analysis with a special focus on Cultural Heritage problems and environmental pollution studies. A unique expertise has been developed in handling technical problems connected to Ion Beam Analysis, especially using external beams, while in the recent years an external scanning micro-beam setup has been installed  proving to be very efficient and reliable.   [top] [LABEC homepage]

Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory (OCL), University of Oslo, Norway

The Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory (OCL) of University of Oslo, Norway, has specialized on measuring nuclear level densities (NLD) and gamma-ray strength functions (GRSF) in the quasi-continuum region of thermally excited atomic nuclei and is well-established within the international community not only because of its novel “Oslo method” developed to derive level densities from the so-called first generation gamma-spectra but also of a special experimental setup used for this purpose, i.e. the CACTUS NaI detector array. Level densities and γ-ray strength functions are input quantities for large network calculations required to derive the abundances of the p nuclei. In this context, the research program of OCL is fully complementary to that of INP. This is because through the quantities measured by the INP, i.e. cross sections, the experimental results of the OCL group can be checked and vice-versa. In addition to these, the results of the OCL group are of major importance for the development of global NLD models, which is one of the primary research objectives of the theory group of "Demokritos". Since recently, the OCL group is planning to upgrade CACTUS by implementing new scintillator materials, such as LaBr3(Ce) crystals, as well as state-of-the art particle detectors. The collaboration with OCL includes testing and improving NLD models by comparing OCL results with theoretical calculations as well as optimizing a 4π calorimeter for activities related to nuclear astrophysics.   [top] [OCL homepage]

 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Berlin, Germany

The research activities of the X-ray Spectrometry group at Germany's National Metrology Institute (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt - PTB) are focussed on the continuing state of the art development of analytical methods based on reference-free X-Ray spectrometry (XRS) and related instrumentation. Well-characterized X-ray sources and detectors, as well as well-described experimental arrangements allow the determination of atomic fundamental parameters with increased accuracy. For radiometric purposes, PTB operates several well-characterized beamlines for monochromatized synchrotron radiation at the 1.7 GeV electron storage ring BESSY II in Berlin. Two of these beamlines, a plane grating monochromator (PGM) beamline for undulator radiation and a four-crystal monochromator (FCM) for bending magnet radiation, serve as excitation sources for reference-free XRS. The methodological development of XRS at PTB is, among other issues, dedicated to high-end investigations in the R&D of semiconductor samples related to industrial applications requiring reference-free methods, in particular for new materials where not enough appropriate reference materials are available. The use of monochromatic synchrotron radiation at BESSY II has led to developments in the non-destructive investigation of wafer surface contamination, speciation and nano-layered materials by reference-free XRS. PTB and "Demokritos" collaborate to a further development and comparative evaluation of micro-analytical particle and X-ray induced spectrometric techniques, in particular in the case of heterogeneous samples. The particle micro-beam set-up that will be installed at NCSRD through LIBRA project should be utilized in the future for advanced characterization procedures. The collaboration intends to provide a framework for comparative study of the two modes of excitation and a basis for the validation of the particle micro-analytical techniques.   [top] [PTB homepage]

 Surrey Ion Beam Centre (SIBC), Advanced Technology Institute,  Univ. of Surrey, UK

The Surrey Ion Beam Centre (SIBC) in the Advanced Technology Institute of the University of Surrey of the University of Surrey, UK, is a recognized national centre for ion beam applications in the UK for the past 30 years. It carries out world leading research in the use of ion beams for materials modification and analysis and has been recognized as a European Centre of Excellence in this field. Among the aims of IBC are: to initiate collaborative research projects and stimulate multi-disciplinary interactions nationally and internationally, to enable innovative research programmes requiring the use of ion beams including the introduction of ion beam methods to new discipline areas, to provide high quality facilities, intellectual input and a broad knowledge base to users and finally to train and educate the UK and international community in the applications and technology of ion beams providing also a technology transfer to industry and academia.  Research within the IBC is conducted under seven broad themes: Atomic Collisions in Solids, Group IV Semiconductors, Optoelectronics, III-V Materials, Superconducting Materials, Ion Beam Analysis, Bio-Medical Applications of Ion Beams [top] [SIBC homepage]

Technical University of Berlin (TUB), Germany

The “Analytical X-ray Spectroscopy” group of the Institute for Optic and Atomic Physics at the Technical University of Berlin, is headed by PD Dr. Birgit Kanngießer with research activities in the fields of X-ray spectroscopy and their atomic fundamentals. This group had in the last few years a pioneering contribution in the development, characterization and implementation of the three dimensional X-ray Fluorescence technique (3D Micro-XRF) in interdisciplinary fields. With the support of the German research foundation (DFG) and the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) this new analytical method was established at the new micro-focus beam-line at the Berlin based synchrotron source BESSY and in the laboratory of the group. In the first applications in archaeological/historical materials (paintings, historical paper, and reverse glass paintings) and in biological specimen, the usefulness of the new method has been proved. Reliable quantification procedures are still a topic for further development and an analytical approach on stratified materials was recently validated. Three years ago, the concept of a confocal setup for three dimensionally resolved elemental investigations was successfully transferred by TUB in collaboration with the "Demokritos" to Proton induced X-ray Emission developing the 3D μ-PIXE technique. The installation of the new micro-beam facility at the Tandem Accelerator Laboratory will provide the means to explore the unique analytical possibilities of this novel and very promising technique in the fields of Cultural Heritage, Environmental Science and Biology. In particular, the collaboration aims at the development and validation of a quantitation algorithm for 3D μ-PIXE, its experimental realization at the "Demokritos" Tandem NCSRD and its implementation in selected analytical problems.   [top] [TUB homepage]