The study of a novel flat-topping resonator for more intense proton beams of better quality from cyclotrons

De Villiers, John Garrett
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
ABSTRACT The multi-disciplinary accelerator based facilities at iThemba LABS are used intensively for nuclear physics experiments, radiotherapy and the production of radioisotopes. To increase the beam intensity for radioisotope production and to improve the beam quality of the 66 MeV proton beam, a double-gap horizontal half-wave flat-topping resonator has been developed for the separated-sector cyclotron to operate at the associated fixed frequency. This type of flattopping resonator has never before been implemented in a cyclotron and this study is the first to show that it can be done, featuring a special characteristic not offered by other types. The resonator is reviewed against the other types of resonators that are already in use at other institutes around the world. The flat-topping voltage of the selected type has a sinusoidal half-wave distribution along a radial line in each of its acceleration gaps with the nodal points located on the injection and extraction orbits. The flat-topping voltage therefore progressively increases from zero at both of the two most critical orbits in a cyclotron to a maximum at about halfway between them. As a result will this resonator, apart from its basic function to reduce the energy spread in the beam, not decrease the orbit separation at the injection and extraction orbits in the cyclotron, as is the case with other types of flat-topping resonators. This advantageous feature implies that the beam pattern in the cyclotron is not affected in the regions of the delicate injection and extraction components and therefore will these components or the operational control of the beam not require any modification to accommodate the resonator. In order to design a resonator that will meet our requirements, the theory of the beam dynamics and resonator characteristics were studied to ascertain the expected improvement in beam quality and beam intensity when a flat-topping resonator is implemented with the cyclotron. All resonator types were considered and studied in terms of their power dissipation, voltage distribution, harmonic number, space requirements and influence on the beam. The horizontal half-wave resonator type, with two acceleration gaps, was selected as the most suitable for our application, because of its preferred electromagnetic characteristics and its geometric shape that permits the installation inside an existing vacuum chamber through an existing flange. Initially a half-scale resonator model was build to test the feasibility of such a resonator and also to verify the calculation methods. Transmission line methods and numerical field analysis in 3D were applied to determine the resonator characteristics. In the former method a computer program, POISSON, was used to calculate curvilinear squares on sections through a triangular-shaped transmission line and in the latter method a commercial computer program, SOPRANO, was used. SOPRANO is part of an internationally acclaimed suite of programs and the acquired knowledge and skill to use this state-of-the-art software for the studying and designing of such and other electromagnetic devices also put the institute amongst the front-runners in the world. The calculated characteristics of the half- and full-scale resonator models, the study of the different electromagnetic modes that resonate in close proximity to the required frequency, the heat transport modelling and the theory and implementation of the coupling and tuning devices are all in good agreement with their respective measured results and are reported in this document. This study lead the way to have the first-ever double-gap horizontal half-wave flat-topping resonator in a cyclotron successfully commissioned at iThemba LABS and the first tests with beam report very stable operation. Accelerator physicists now have another option to utilize for the establishing of flat-topped acceleration voltages.
accelerators, cyclotrons, radio frequency, flat-topping, resonator, dee, energy spread, beam quality, extraction, finite element analysis