Experimental infrastructure

Currently there are 10 separate beam lines that can receive beam from the HIAF accelerators. The planned upgrade will see the addition of up to a further 3 new lines. This arrangement provides excellent flexibility in terms of the types of detectors that can be attached to each line and in terms of scheduling and development of new equipment. As a consequence the facility readily supports a number of local research groups, and has a strong network of national and international collaborators.

Specialised state-of-the-art laboratories and workshops for the development, production and maintenance of the accelerators and associated equipment, research group hardware and target and sample preparation also form part of the facility. Key pieces of experimental equipment include:

The caesar array

Multiple HPGe detectors are used by the nuclear structure group to identify and characterise exotic, metastable individual quatum states in atomic nuclei. The array has helped to provide new insights into the coupling between collective vibrations and octupole-shaped proton and neutron orbits near the surface of spherical nuclei, and into the constituents of superfluid motion in deformed nuclei

The hyperfine spectrometer

The hyperfine spectrometer features a small electromagnet to apply a magnetic field to the target, which can also be cooled to about 4 degrees Kelvin. Research by the magnetic moments and in-beam hyperfine interactions group includes measurements of nuclear moments and studies of hyperfine fields at ions implanted into magnetized host materials.

The gas filled magnet

The gas-filled magnet detection system consists of an Enge Split-Pole magnetic spectrograph coupled to a position sensitive multi-anode gas ionisation detector. Ions travelling in a magnetic field region, which is filled with nitrogen gas at an appropriate pressure, do so with a circular trajectory with a singular average-charge state. This average charge state is proportional to the Z of the ion, thus giving rise to a physical separation between ions of differing Z at the exit of the magnet. The gas-filled magnet allows ions of interest to Accelerator Mass Spectrometry to be separated from their much more abundant stable isobars (for example to separate the rare 26Al isotope from the much more abundant 26Mg).

The cube

The Multi-Wire Proportional Counter (MWPC) and auxiliary detectors used for fusion-fission studies by the nuclear reaction dynamics group. Colliding nuclei can merge together (fusion) or separate after the exchange of some mass (quasi-fission). The MWPC has shown that quasi-fission is more prevalent than expected and has helped to provide insight into the competion between the processes that determine whether fusion or quasi-fission occurs.


A gas-filled superconducting soleniod for fusion-fission studies.

The superconducting electron spectrometer

A high-efficiency device for conversion electron detection.


A coupling of the gas-filled superconducting soleniod and HPGe gamma detectors.


A low-mass radioactive ion beam capability has been developed using the 6.5 Tesla superconducting solenoid as the separator element. The separator, called SOLEROO, separates the large background of primary-beam particles from the radioactive species of interest. A further rejection of unwanted nuclear species leaving the solenoid is achieved by tracking each emerging particle and identifying them event-by-event using a pair of position sensitive parallel plate avalance counters. The tagged secondary beam will be combined with a high efficiency 512 pixel silicon detector array for nuclear experiments.

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster