1st RADIATE Twinning Program Report

The first RADIATE twinning program stay took place at Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) facility in Austria from December 18-20, 2019. Roman Garba from the Nuclear Physics Institute of the Czech Academy of the Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic took the time to write about his experience, which you can read about below.

RADIATE Twinning Program Report by Roman Garba

© Roman Garba

The 3-day RADIATE Twinning Program stay at Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) facility exceeded expectations in gained experience and knowledge of the use of ion beam facilities.

The first day was dedicated to a complete overview of the work of VERA laboratory by visiting 14C pre-treatment lab equipped with new AGE graphitization unit and other sample preparation labs. Peter Steier gave a detailed walk-through with explanation of the accelerator’s beamline elements and supportive facilities of the main 3 MV tandem accelerator capable to measure all standard AMS isotopes (10Be, 14C, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, 129I) and Actinides (236U, 233U, Np, Pu, Am). Very interesting was ILIAMS (Ion-Laser Interaction Mass Spectrometry) “green laser” beamline with ion cooler – the cutting edge innovative instruments.

The Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) at the University of Vienna © University of Vienna

The second day was focused on practical day-to-day operational steps such as cathode target preparation and change of cathode wheel. The next step was a visit on cosmogenic nuclide chemical laboratory at University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) where the samples for 10Be/26Al experiments are receiving chemical pretreatment. The last day was dedicated to an open discussion with VERA lab members during the presentation “Research cases from Oman: applications of radioanalytical methods and analytical chemistry in archaeology.” with scientific experiment “Numerical dating of the Qarn Fu’ād Palaeolithic raw material procurement sites in Oman using cosmogenic nuclides 10Be and 26Al.” which will be performed at VERA as a part of Radiate Transnational Access. A nice bonus was invitation to VERA’s employee pre-Christmas event.

As we do not have AMS facilities in the Czech Republic yet, the hands-on visit of VERA was extremely useful. It was a great opportunity to get familiar with AMS beamline instruments and the sample preparation process for non-14C cosmogenic nuclides. Twinning program expanded my knowledge and put a solid foundation for the forthcoming scientific experiment scheduled for 2020.

Roman Garba


Information on Twinning Program opportunities

RADIATE’s Twinning Program funds short stays of up to three days at ion beam facilities for new users of ion beam technology. Applications can be submitted anytime. RADIATE will match you with a facility based on your needs and interests. If you already have a specific facility in mind and contacted them beforehand, you will be matchech with your wish facility if your application is accepted by RADIATE’s Executive Board.