Aerial view of TRIUMF-ISAC.

TRIUMF is Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics and is located in Vancouver, British Columbia ( The lab is centered around a 500 MeV proton (H$^-$) cyclotron that provides simultaneously extracted beams with intensities of $150~\mu A,~100~\mu A,~60~\mu A$, and $10~\mu A$. A dedicated 100 $\mu A$ beam of protons is utilized to provide radioactive isotopes needed to conduct nuclear science research in the Isotope Separator and ACcelerator (ISAC) experimental facility, where we perform our research. The TRIUMF-ISAC facility uses the isotope separation on-line (ISOL) technique to produce rare-isotope beams (RIB). The ISOL system consists of a primary production beam, a target/ion source, a mass separator, and beam transport system. The rare isotopes produced during the interaction of the proton beam with the target nucleus are stopped in the bulk of the target material. They diffuse inside the target material matrix to the surface of the grain and then effuse to the ion source where they are ionized to form an ion beam that can be separated by mass and then guided to the experimental facilities.

Diagram of the ISAC-I and ISAC-II Facilities.


In the ISAC-I facility, 500 MeV protons at up to 100 μA can be steered onto one of two production targets to produce radioactive isotopes. The isotopes pass through a heated tube to a source where they are ionized, accelerated off the source’s high-voltage platform at up to 60 kV and sent through a mass separator to select the ion beam of choice. The beam is transported in the low-energy beam transport (LEBT) electrostatic beam line and sent via a switchyard to either the low-energy experimental area or to a series of room-temperature accelerating structures to the ISAC-I medium-energy experimental area. The vast majority of our research takes place in low-energy part of the experimental hall.


For high-energy delivery, the drift tube linac (DTL) beam is deflected north along an S-bend transfer line to the ISAC-II superconducting linear accelerator (SC-linac) for acceleration above the Coulomb barrier (5-11 MeV/u). TRIUMF began developing superconducting accelerator technology in 2001 and is now a leader in the field with a demonstrated accelerating gradient significantly above other operating facilities.