Contact: Anne Knott (email Anne)
For further information visit:

The University of Manchester Dalton Cumbrian Facility


Material processing
Dual beam accelerator inducing higher damage/higher activated materials, including Gen IV technologies

Sample Preparation;
Sample preparation suite

Material characterisation;
On-site PIE of non-active materials

Material transfer;
Transfer of higher-activated materials for off-site PIE

DCF early NNUF based studies

  • University of Bristol; Magnetron sputtering loading chamber to form uranium oxide thin films on glass and aluminium
  • DCF— Irradiation of uranium dioxide target with 7-10 MeV He2+ ions at 50-150nAmps
  • DCF— FEGESEM with EDS + WDS analysis to compare pre and post irradiation elemental spectra

Experimental capability (NB: The experimental capability described is either already operational or is currently being installed as part of the National Nuclear User Facility initiative).

5 MV Tandem ion accelerator producing Mz+ ions with energy 5(Z+1) MeV:

  • High current TORVIS source providing 10MeV 1H+ at 100µamps, 15MeV 4He2+ at 15µamps
  • Low current SNICS source providing partially and fully stripped heavy ions e.g. 35MeV 12C6+ at 150namps
  • Six beamlines with three high precision raster scanners
  • Two irradiation vaults to enable parallel working and minimized downtime

Our new 2.5 MV single-ended accelerator (NEC Model 7.5SH) is capable of accelerating ions to energies upto 2.5 MeV for protons, helium ions or heavier gas ions from the accelerator’s RF ion source.
It operates 2 beam lines which will are configured to coincide with two beam lines from the existing 5 MV tandem accelerator to provide 2 dual beam irradiation end stations. These will be used primarily for radiation damage studies of materials that are of interest to the nuclear energy industry. The dual beam capability will allow researchers to replicate the damage environment experienced by materials in a high radiation field, where the presence of the ion radiation (typically proton or alpha irradiation) can interact with radiation damage mechanism and alter the process. In these experiments the 2.5 MV single ended accelerator will provide a proton or alpha rich radiation field whilst a heavy ion beam from the larger 5 MV tandem accelerator is used to create the radiation damage.

• High current RF source for:
        -   Up to 100μA of 1H+ (up to 2.5 MeV ions)
        - Up to 50μA of 4He+ (up to 2.5 MeV ions)
        - Lower currents of heavier gas elements.
• Two beamlines meeting with 2 of the existing 5 MV tandem Pelletron allowing for dual beam irradiations.

  • Beam line “hot cell” to allow higher penetration & higher damage rate studies
  • In-situ experimental equipment (Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry & high temperature autoclave)
  • Equipment for the handling, storage & onward transport to CCFE & NNL Central Lab of activated samples

Foss Therapy Model 812 60Co self contained high dose rate gamma irradiator:

  • Sample chamber absorbed dose rates from <100Gy/hr up to >10 kGy/hr
  • 9 litre (200mm wide x 250mm deep x 300mm high) sample chamber

Analytical Laboratory: A well equipped laboratory incorporating a range of analytical equipment including: High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Ion Chromatography, Gas Chromatography, Surface Area & Porosity Analyser (BET Method), Fluorescence Spectrophotometer, UV-Vis Spectrometer, Total Organic Carbon & Nitrogen Analyser and a Karl Fischer Titrator.

Materialography Laboratory: A wide range of equipment to enable the preparation of solid samples to the high quality surface finish required for research into understanding the effects of radiation damage produced by ion beams.

Characterisation Laboratory: A range of high-end scientific equipment to enable detailed inspection of chemical and material samples including; Field Emission Gun, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope incorporating EDS, EBSD & WDS, heating/cooling stage and tensile rig, a range of optical microscopes, micro hardness testing, FT-IR Spectrometer/FT-Raman Spectrometer/Raman Microscopy, 2D XRD and Time-domain thermoreflectance.

Heat Treat Laboratory: Equipment includes a tube furnace, high temperature vacuum furnace and Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) system.

Surface Science Laboratory: Bespoke UHV controlled atmosphere chamber with low energy electron gun (2 – 50eV) and laser-induced fluorescence for surface science studies.

Number of Users: The DCF can accommodate up to 45 people, of which around 30 are academic researchers.

Access: In the first instance a discussion of the intended research project to be held with DCF Commercial Manager, Anne Knott:   or  +44(0)1946 508852       

Mission: DCF was created by The University of Manchester in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to provide the UK with a user facility for radiation science that, combined with NNL Central Laboratory and CCFE, establishes a truly unique research capability for UK academia that can engage fully with national & international research programmes. As part of the UK National Nuclear User Facility, DCF will work to support UK academics achieve their research ambitions in the area of radiation science.

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