Ever since the invention of the microscope, scientists have been peering deeper and deeper into the world around us. During the past century, new and better techniques for looking inside materials have been found, including X-ray diffraction, electron microscopes and neutron scattering. Scientists at TRIUMF are using another technique to examine materials, called μSR (pronounced … Continued

Rare Isotope Beam Delivery

From their origins in targets and ion sources, TRIUMF’s rare isotope beams (RIBs) travel on to navigate two important technologies: mass separators and charge breeders. The singly-ionized rare isotopes enter a High-Resolution Mass Separator (HRS) in order to create a purified, high-intensity RIB of ideally just a single selected isotope. From the mix of products emerging … Continued

Targets and Ion Sources

At its core, a rare isotope production target is a material, such as uranium carbide, that when irradiated undergoes nuclear reactions that produce rare isotopes. TRIUMF’s two target drivers, accelerated protons and electrons, can each be used with a variety of target materials to induce different kinds of nuclear reactions and produce different types and … Continued

e-linac: Electron Linear Accelerator

The second driver for TRIUMF’s rare isotope beam program is the new electron linear accelerator (e-linac), the world’s highest power e-linac for rare isotope production, which will come fully online in 2021. Unlike the spiral of a cyclotron, the 25-meter-long e-linac accelerates electrons in a straight line. Starting with a fingernail-sized electron source, the e-linac … Continued

520 MeV Cyclotron

TRIUMF’s 520 MeV cyclotron, one of the world’s largest cyclotrons, accelerates negative hydrogen ions to 75% the speed of light to produce intense proton beams for rare isotope production and a variety of other particle physics applications. The 18-meter diameter, clamshell-shaped 520 MeV cyclotron structure is iconic in design, construction, operation and scientific output. The … Continued


At TRIUMF’s unique βNMR (beta-detected Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) facility, scientists are using radioactive isotopes to take inside-out, atomic-level snapshots to guide the way to new materials and medicines. βNMR (the Greek-letter β is pronounced ‘beta’) is a next-generation form of the better-known Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), one of the most important tools in science for characterizing … Continued