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Centre for Accelerator Science

Centre for Accelerator Science


ANSTO has operated accelerators since 1964. The Centre for Accelerator Science  is a world-leading centre for ion beam analysis and accelerator mass spectrometry. The Centre is recognised internationally for the excellence of its operations and expertise of its staff. It attracts national and international users from academia, publicly-funded research agencies, industry and government.

Both in-house scientists and external users access a suite of tools for investigations that cross a range of disciplines. The Centre provides key infrastructure for supporting International Atomic Energy Agency activities and provides training across a broad range of disciplines and technologies.

How it works

An animation illustrates the SIRIUS tandem accelerator


The Centre for Accelerator Science provides users with access to a suite of tools in one location that can be used for isotopic dating, air pollution studies, climate science, the modification and characterisation of materials, radiation damage studies, forensic science, nuclear detector characterisation and microbiological and life sciences studies.

The Centre provides key infrastructure for supporting International Atomic Energy Agency activities and provides training across a broad range of disciplines and technologies.



The voltage energy range of accelerators


Ion sources on  accelerators


Beamlines on accelerators


Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

Ion beam analysis

When an energetic ion beam hits a sample it will interact with the atoms through a number of very complex interactions.  By detecting and measuring the reaction products resulting from the various interactions and their intensities, quantitative data on the sample's constituent elements and their spatial distributions can be readily obtained.


Accelerator mass spectrometry

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry is an ultra-sensitive analytical technique based on the use of an ion accelerator as a powerful mass spectrometer. The element of interest is chemically separated from the original material and loaded as a target in the ion source of the tandem accelerator. The ion beam produced from it is accelerated and isotopically analysed. Selected isotopes are identified and counted individually with ion detectors.


  • 1MV VEGA Accelerator

    1MV Vega Accelerator

    The 1MV Vega Accelerator has the capability to perform high efficiency, high precision carbon-14 and actinide mass spectrometry

    Find out more
  • 2MV STAR Accelerator

    2MV Star Accelerator

    The 2MV Star tandem accelerator performs both ion beam analysis and accelerator mass spectrometry measurements

    For more information
  • 6MV SIRIUS Accelerator

    6MV Sirius Accelerator

    The 6MV Sirius accelerator has wide range of ion beam analysis, accelerator mass spectrometry and ion irradiation facilities

    For more information
  • 10MV ANTARES Accelerator

    10MV Antares Accelerator

    The 10MV tandem accelerator Antares has source, beamline and end station facilities applicable to both ion beam analysis and accelerator mass spectrometry 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.

    For more information


Discover how ion beam analysis and accelerator mass spectrometry can assist your investigation


Geraldine Jacobsen

Dr Geraldine Jacobsen