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Sirius Accelerator

Ion beam analysis

Accelerator-based ion beam analysis (IBA) techniques and capabilities can be applied across a range of imvestigations. 

This animation illustrates ion beam analysis for a range of sample characterisation methods and capabilities

Some recent research includes monitoring ambient air pollution at sites across Australia and Asia known as the aerosol sampling program (ASP), determining heavy metal pollutants in biological systems, studying the composition of archaeological artifacts and soil specimens, analysing thin films for photovoltaic (solar cell) applications, and probing materials engineering problems such as corrosion and coating delamination. A range of ASP publications is available online.


Click on the technique for more information 

TechniqueApplicationsElementsSensitivityDepth resolutionAnalysis depth
RBSSurface and thin film composition
and thickness.
Li - UBest for heavy elements
on light element substrate
(eg Cu on Si) typical 10%
(Li) - 0.001% (U)
5-20 nmUp to 1 mm
PIXETrace element composition of
particulates and bulk materials.
Si-UOpimum near Fe (1ppm)
elemental sensitivities
range from 1 - 100ppm
Typical proton range
20- 50 microns    
Up to 1 mm

Trace element composition of particulates
and bulk materials.


Element dependent, typically
< 1 ppm for F
< 40 ppm for Na
< 40 ppm for Al

 up to 1 mm
NRAIsotopic tracing and profiling in materials,
surfaces and interfaces.
H-SiElement dependent, typically
in range 1 - 100 ppm
5-20 nmup to 1 mm
PESAHydrogen in polymers, polymer interdiffusion,
hydrogen in solar cells.
H, D> 0.1%10-20 nmup to 1 mm
ERDA & RToFElemental composition and structure of near
surface regions. thin films.
H-U> 0.1 %    10-20 nmup to 1 mm
μERDAElemental mapping and depth profiling
in materials science.
 >0.1 %>50 nmup to 20 μm
μPIXETrace element mapping in biological,
environmental and geological samples.
Si-U> 100 ppmup to 3 μm 
IBICCharge collection mapping in electronic
devices and detectors.     
   up to 1 μm


Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE)


Rutherford Backscattering (RBS) 


Particle Induced Gamma Emission (PIGE)


Elastic Recoil Detection (ERD & RToF

Partners and collaborators

The IBA facilities are offered to 37 universities through AINSE and members of the group are involved in significant research projects that impact Australia and the wider global community. The IBA has partnerships with several environmental protection agencies, the Australian Coal Association, private industry, the CSIRO and International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna (IAEA), among others.

Australian and international researchers and industry can request access to IBA facilities through ANSTO's Research Portal for users. 


For further information please contact

Prof David Cohen

Prof David Cohen