Transformational impact on critical needs in science, security, and industry
The Ion Beam Technology Program integrates expertise and technologies from the ATAP Division’s deep roots in ion-accelerator design and in the quest for fusion energy. IBT now supports diverse scientific and industrial applications, including quantum computing, innovative neutron and gamma generators, and improvement of everything from computer discs to energy efficient windows through plasma applications.
Plasma and Ion Source Technology
At the heart of a wide range of IBT applications is a family of ion sources that use radio-frequency power for induction heating of a plasma, which is confined by a multi-cusp magnetic field.
Our Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group has adapted this core concept for many purposes, including simple, compact efficient neutron and gamma-ray generators for the security missions of DOE and other agencies.
The Plasma Applications Group develops plasma technologies to deposit thin films, nanoparticles, and multilayer devices. Applications are numerous and include transparent conductors, applying diamondlike carbon coatings, modifying surfaces, and energy-efficient, dynamic (switchable) “smart” windows. The technologies and techniques can be applied in many fields where special films or surfaces are needed.
Our ability to precisely control the size and energy of very small ion beams led to expertise in ion implantation and nanofabrication—exciting areas that are applicable to quantum computing. One IBT contribution, infrastructural to a collaborative effort with UC-Berkeley, is working on a silicon-based (“Kane”) approach to quantum computing hardware: the use of electron spins of donor atoms in silicon as qubits. Another effort is developing a non-silicon approach to quantum computing gates, based on nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defects in the crystal structure of diamond. This approach also uses qubits based on a single atom.
Accelerator “Front Ends”
One of our key strengths and responsibilities is service to ion-accelerator-based projects in the Department of Energy and elsewhere. In these matters we work closely with ATAP’s Center for Beam Physics and LBNL’s Engineering Division.
To Learn More…
Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group
Plasma Applications Group
Nano Beams and Quantum Computing Group
Fusion Science and NDCX-II
Other Beam access and accelerator related cooperative R&D opportunities are available in ATAP and elsewhere in LBNL.