Welcome to the Centre for Accelerator Science


ANSTO's Centre for Accelerator Science is expanding opportunities for the organisation and its partners. Accelerators have a vast array of applications and can be used for the A to Z (archaeology to zoology) of science.

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Accelerator carousel item
The 10MV ANTARES accelerator for IBA and AMS analyses


The potential to increase the use of accelerators in a range of scientific pursuits was identified by the Australian Federal Government in the 2009/10 Budget when it allocated $25 million to establish the new Centre for Accelerator Science at ANSTO.

The aim of centre is to provide world-leading national accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and ion beam analysis (IBA) facilities. 
Along with clean laboratories for sample preparation and mass spectrometry, the centre includes four operating accelerators:

• 1MV VEGA Accelerator
• 2MV STAR Tandetron Accelerator
• 6MV SIRIUS Tandem Accelerator
• 10MV ANTARES Tandem Accelerator



The 1MV VEGA Accelerator

The new 1MV accelerator system, named VEGA, is designed with the capability to perform high efficiency, high precision 14C and actinide mass spectrometry.

Large beam-optical acceptance ensures high quality and high throughput for radiocarbon measurements. High mass resolution analysers, at low and high energy, coupled to a novel fast isotope switching system, enable high quality analysis of actinide radioisotopes.

It has been custom built to our specifications taking into account recent overseas developments and allowing for future development possibilities including a second ion source.
1MV VEGA accelerator
The 1MV VEGA low energy multi-isotope accelerator



The 6MV SIRIUS Tandem Accelerator

 The new 6MV tandem accelerator, named SIRIUS, is instrumented with a wide range of AMS, IBA and ion irradiation facilities.  The three ion sources include hydrogen and helium sources, and a MC-SNICS sputter source for solid materials. 

SIRIUS has AMS facilities including: 

(i) a gas-absorber detector for 10Be analysis,
(ii) a time-of-flight detector,
(iii) a gas-filled magnet and
(iv) a general use ionization detector suited to 36Cl and other analyses.

SIRIUS has IBA facilities including:

(i)  a confocal heavy ion microprobe,
(ii) a surface engineering beamline,
(iii) a nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) and
(iv) a heavy ion implantation beamline.

A photo of the 6MV tandem is shown below during testing in Wisconsin, USA. Its installation location at ANSTO will also include the possibility of porting the beam to the existing ANTARES beam hall for simultaneous irradiation experiments. 

6MV Sirius Accelerator

The 6MV SIRIUS accelerator for IBA and AMS being tested in Wisconsin, USA 



2MV STAR Tandetron Accelerator

The 2MV tandetron accelerator, named STAR, can perform both IBA and AMS analyses. it has three ion sources which include two duoplasmatron sources, for hydrogen and helium, and a solid target sputter source used primarily for ionising carbon samples for AMS. The STAR accelerator currently has 3 beamlines, a multi-elemental surface analysis beamline (IBA), a high resolution depth profiling beamline (IBA), and a 14C beamline (AMS). More information on the STAR accelerator can be found here

Inside the accelerator
The 2MV STAR tandetron accelerator for IBA and AMS analyses



10MV ANTARES Tandem Accelerator

The 10MV tandem accelerator, named ANTARES, is the largest accelerator in CAS and was first commissioned at ANSTO in 1991. It has source, beamline and end station facilities applicable to both IBA and AMS research. ANTARES is capable of producing and accelerating virtually any naturally occurring isotope to energies up to 100MeV and intensities up to microamperes, depending on the ion species.

 ANTARES facilities include:

  •  Heavy ion microprobe beamline
  • Elastic recoil detection beamline
  • Actinide beamline
  • 14C AMS beamline
  • 10Be / 26Al / 36Cl AMS beamline
  • Heavy ion gas filled magnet beamline


Prof David Cohen    
Accelerator Science Project Leader