Heavy Ion Laboratory (HIL)
Heavy Ion Laboratory at the University of Warsaw
ŚLCJ), founded jointly by Ministry of Education, Polish Academy of
Sciences and Polish Atomic Energy Agency, is the only nuclear physics
facility in Poland operating a heavy ion accelerator and equipped with modern
spectrometers for experimental studies in the domain of nuclear spectroscopy and
reactions. The Warsaw K=160 cyclotron provides beams
of energies from 2 to 10MeV/amu and
intensities up to a few hundreds pnA.
In 2010 a new ECR ion source was commissioned at HIL, increasing the
variety of ion beams available at the laboratory. In addition to
beams of gaseous elements and of elements
available from gaseous compounds ranging from boron to argon, metallic ion
beams and ones of much heavier elements (krypton, silver...) will be
delivered by the Warsaw Cyclotron. Installation of
modern high-frequency generators that will improve the cyclotron
reliability is scheduled for 2013.
HIL is an open “user facility”. Beam time is allocated by
the Director based on the recommendation of the international
Programme Advisory Committee. The only criteria are the scientific merit of the project and
its technical feasibility.
Experimental teams may take
advantage of permanent set-ups installed on the beam lines or use
their own dedicated equipment. Available apparatus include
IGISOL – a Scandinavian type
on-line separator, CUDAC
– a PIN-diode array particle detection
system, JANOSIK –
a multidetector system consisting of a large
NaI(Tl) crystal with passive and active shields as well as a 32-element
multiplicity filter, and
a charged particles detector system used for their identification and energy
measurements, moved to HIL from IReS Strasbourg.
The most recent experimental tool, still being developed and improved,
EAGLE array -
multidetector γ-ray spectrometer, which can be easily coupled to
ancillary detectors like internal conversion electron
charged particle 4 π
multiplicity filter (Si-ball), scattering chamber equipped with 100 PIN-diode
detectors, 60-element BaF2 γ
multiplicity filter, sectored HPGe polarimeter, plunger... In July 2011 the
EAGLE setup was complemented by 20 high efficiency Ge detectors, loaned for
two years by the European GAMMAPOOL consortium.
The research at HIL has proven to be
successful in many domains. Outstanding experimental projects worth
mentioning are– investigation of shape coexistence in nuclei (a
nuclear microscope), Giant Dipole Resonance studies, fusion barrier
distributions, high-spin states structure involving the confirmation
of chirality, light nuclei reaction processes and the mechanisms of
“hot” nuclei decay. Also the availability of beam time
for application projects resulted, among others, in the construction
of charged particle scintillation detector, used with EUROBALL.
HIL is an interdisciplinary user-facility,
not restricting itself to nuclear physics only. Solid state,
biological and application studies play an important role, so a
significant amount of the beam time is distributed for these
purposes. Medical applications of nuclear physics are of special importance.
Research and Productions Centre will soon be operational in HIL
building. In July 2011 this unit was equipped with a high-current cyclotron
able to accelerate protons and deuterons to 16 and 8 MeV, respectively. The
centre will produce radiopharmaceuticals for Positron Emission Tomography
(PET) to be used in Warsaw hospitals. Research on new types of
radiopharmaceuticals is also planned. Inauguration of the centre will be
accompanied by the international conference "Positron Emission Tomography in Research
and Diagnostics", co-organised by HIL in May 2012.
A research project related to possible use of
alpha-particle emitters in cancer radiotherapy is currently on-going at HIL
in collaboration with the University of Silesia, Institute of Nuclear
Physics in Kraków and Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology in
Warsaw. The collaboration has recently demonstrated the
possibility of producing 211At
in the 209Bi(alpha,2n) reaction using a beam of alpha particles delivered by
the Warsaw Cyclotron. HIL is currently the only laboratory in Poland
able to produce this isotope.
HIL collaborates with numerous Polish and foreign universities and research
institutes. In 2010, HIL together with the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of
Sciences in Kraków created the consortium "National Cyclotron Laboratory".
Its mission is to provide infrastructure for basic research in the domain of
nuclear physics, as well as for a broad program of applications. Integration
with large pan-European research facilities is of special importance.
According to the newest document of NuPECC (Nuclear
Physics European Collaboration Committee)
of Nuclear Physics in Europe”, regional experimental facilities such as HIL
play an important role in the landscape of European nuclear physics by means
research programs, development of new methods and technologies, as well as
education of the next generation of researchers - future users of
pan-European research infrastructures.
HIL equipment is also used for teaching and training purposes.
Workshop on Acceleration and Applications of Heavy Ions is organised every
year since 2005 at HIL and attracts students from all over Poland.
Participants work in small groups to prepare and perform
nuclear physics measurements using dedicated apparatus installed
at HIL. For this purpose, a week of accelerator beam time is allocated
allocated. Experimental tasks provide students a hands-on experience with modern
scientific equipment (detectors and related electronics, vacuum systems) and
offer a possibility to get acquainted with good practice rules of laboratory
work (e.g. sources and target handling). First international
edition of this
workshop, attended by 19 students from 3 countries, took place in March 2011 and was co-organised by the University of
Warsaw, University of Sofia (Bulgaria) and University of Huelva (Spain).
More foreign universities express their interest in joining in the project.
The Laboratory has an infrastucture
allowing to organise large conferences. Two big international
“Nuclear Physics Close to the
1998 and XXIII
European Cyclotron Progress Meeting, as well as a
number of workshops, were organised in HIL. Also, for the convenience
of outside users 10 guest rooms are available in the cyclotron
Research done with the cyclotron
beams resulted in a significant number of publications in ISI-listed
journals, PhD, MSc and BSc theses. The details can be found in HIL
Annual Reports. An outlook of vivid didactic activities connected to
the heavy-ion research can also be found there.
More information about HIL: