KU Leuven, Belgium

The Ion and Molecular Beam Laboratory (IMBL) of KU Leuven’s Division of Quantum Solid State Physics consists of three accelerators connected to a large variety of equipment for the deposition and analysis of thin films and nanostructures, including three molecular beam epitaxy set-ups, scanning probe microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger spectroscopy, Mössbauer spectroscopy, etc. The accelerators, used for ion implantation, ion irradiation as well as ion beam analysis, span an energy range between 10 keV and 10 MeV. A number of end stations allow experiments at either ambient or elevated temperature, both for ion implantation and ion beam analysis. The latter includes techniques as (in situ) Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, ion channeling, particle induced X-ray emission and nuclear reaction analysis. We expect to commission the installation of a fourth accelerator in 2019, specifically aiming at high depth resolution backscattering analysis.

The main research topics of the group deal with unraveling the relation between structure and functionality (e.g., electric, magnetic, superconducting, optical…), in particular for low-dimensional systems. These systems range from thin films and multilayers to nanowires, nanoprecipitates and 2-dimensional materials.


KU Leuven’s main areas of competence:

  • long-standing  experience in ion beam techniques using both stable and radioactive ions
  • implantation, irradiation, and ion beam analysis in channeling mode as well as in extreme and/or in-situ, real-time conditions
  • accelerators directly coupled under ultra-high vacuum to a wide range of tools for thin film deposition and surface analysis

Role in RADIATE:

    • providing 1500 hours of transnational access to users
    • central manager of the Joint Research Activities and contribution to all JRA with specific expertise on low-energy ion-implantation, channeling techniques, and application of neural networks in ion beam analysis


KU Leuven's UHV end station for surface characterization © KU Leuven / Layla Aerts
KU Leuven's Danfysik high-current implanter (1090 Series) equipped with a Chordis 921A ion source, providing a wide range of ion beams with an energy up to 200 keV. © KU Leuven / M. ElskensKU Leuven's UHV modular track system, connecting UVH chambers for thin film deposition, structural characterization or ion implantation/ion beam analysis © KU Leuven / Layla AertKU Leuven's NEC 5SHD-2 Pelletron linear accelerator, operating at a terminal voltage between 200 kV and 1.7 MV, and equipped with two ion sources (alphatross and SNICS sputter source). © KU Leuven / M. Elskens



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