Cyclotron Operation Section

Cyclotron operation section is primarily responsible for producing the beam of a variety of ions of various energies and transporting this beam to the target sample as per the requirement of the experimentalists. Various operational parameters are required to be tuned at the control consol for acceleration of a beam specified by its final energy and charge to mass ratio. Apart from delivering beam on target, cyclotron operation personnel keep a close monitoring of all sub-systems and make good quality coordination among the system personnel in shift duty operation for smooth functioning of cyclotron.
Cyclotron operation section is engaged in the development of new beam in terms of beam energy and beam current and also involved in the up-gradation and modernization activities of the cyclotron. 
Cyclotron operation personnel are demonstrating the cyclotron systems to the students from various institute of all over India and describing the role of it to scientific research and to the society. 
The K-130 room temperature cyclotron after having accelerated light heavy ion beams from 1997 to 2007 was shut down for implementing large scale changes under the “Modernisation of VEC Technical Systems” project. The cyclotron operation was stopped in March 2007 after having completed the successful run of Indian National Gamma Array (INGA) with the heavy ions. During shutdown the major changes related to modifying subsystems which were either failing frequently or because their maintenance was posing too many difficulties. Some of the works related to relocating the existing systems or building new facilities.
Some of the major up-gradation and modification works are:

a) The magnet power supplies (Main magnet, Trim coils, Quadrupole magnets, Steering magnets, switching magnet etc.) have been installed at the newly renovated pit area. Vault floor has been epoxy painted.

b) Two new 36-inch gate valves for two main diffusion pumps have been installed which has improved the quality of the vacuum system. Implementation of PLC based control of vacuum system.

c) New Ion Source Power (PIG Ion Source) supply is functioning satisfactorily and it is computer controlled.

d) The relay-based safety interlock system has been up-graded with PLC based safety interlock system connected RF system.

e) All magnet power supplies mentioned above are operated from the control console through computer.

f) The control console went for a major revision incorporating computerized control system for most of the subsystems.


g) New Deflector power supply is functioning satisfactorily and it is also computer controlled. h) Central region of the cyclotron has been modified to make it compatible with internal PIG ion source


i) Air conditioning system has been upgraded at vault and pit area.

j) Major modifications in Low Conductivity Water system and the Electrical system had to be carried out to incorporate above changes.

k) Building new vacuum chamber for the 160 degree analyzing magnet and energization of feeder beam line for transporting beam to the Radioactive Ion Beam Facility.


l) Re-commissioning of existing High Resolution beam line, presently known as ‘feeder beam line’, for transporting beam to the Radio-active ion beam facility. Other three beam lines have also been modified and upgraded with new beam diagnostics.

Synchronization: The volume of work was large and some unforeseen problems did crop up during implementation. Finally all the systems were energized in November 2009. First internal beam with the new setup was obtained in December 2009. On January 10, 2010 external beam was obtained. Experiment started in channel #1 on 8th February 2010. Since then the cyclotron continues to deliver beams of alpha and proton on the targets.

Beam stability: Following picture shows extracted beam and the stability of beam current on target as function of time. Time scale (horizontal) is for 60 minutes. Current scale (vertical) is for 10 nA. Two dips in the middle occur due to drop of deflector voltage but returns back within a minute automatically.

Beam availability and utilisation is shown in pie chart

Projectiles: At present the following ions with beam energy and beam current are available from K-130 cyclotron for performing experiments.

Experiments performed: The above beams are being used extensively in various fields of research mainly in nuclear physics in channel #2 and #3, radio-chemistry and material science in channel #1 and producing of radio-active atoms in feeder beam line.

Experimentalists: The research work with the above beams has been performed by experimentalists of VECC, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, BRIT/VECC, RchD/BARC, RPhD/BARC, AChD/BARC, MMD/BARC, UGC-DAE-CSR and Kyungpook National University, Korea.





P. Sankar
P. Sarathi
Prafulla Kumar
Rakesh Kumar Rakesh Ming Shri Atanu Das Awanish Kumar Kotamarthi
Durga Rao