Flexible method of production for thin film targets used in nuclear physics and nuclear medicine experiments

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) are inviting proposals to explore innovative processes or methods to put down thin, metal-based films onto a low atomic mass backing material in a flexible and reproducible manner. These thin films are to be used in a particle accelerator to help study fundamental nuclear physics and to identify and produce novel radioisotopes for research and use in the medical field.

STELLAR is the name given to an ambitious NNL-led project to provide neutron irradiation facilities in the North West of England. Located at NNL’s Central Laboratory, STELLAR will define the requirements and establish a route to providing a unique UK and international capability for access to a high energy, high-flux neutron source.

One of the variables in a neutron irradiation experiments is the targets required. That is, more specifically, the target which the generated neutrons interact with to produce a changed material. The proposed STELLAR system at Central Laboratory is intended to have a range of flexible applications that would require the synthesis of a diverse range of target materials, including the production of novel radionuclides for the improvement of radiation based medical treatments.

NNL would therefore like to explore reproducible methods of producing thin films. These methods could potentially already be in use in different industries and could be adapted for nuclear use. Of particular interest are the ability to predict the formation of material in the thin-film and the ability to thoroughly clean production equipment when it is being used with different materials or on different runs.

Find out more

Please download the challenge statement for full details of this challenge. You can also watch a webinar recording to hear additional information from the challenge owner, details of how to apply and a Q & A session:

Proposals must be submitted using the Game Changers online application system. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Thursday 25th November 2021.

National Nuclear Laboratory

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