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Supporting Postgraduate Research with Internships in industry and Training Excellence

Periodic Report Summary 1 - SPRITE (Supporting Postgraduate Research with Internships in industry and Training Excellence)

SPRITE is a multi-disciplinary MC-ITN European training network which brings together some of Europe’s premier research institutes in the technology and applications of ion beams. The four technical workpackages in SPRITE are:
• Work Package 1 (WP1) - Dedicated to emerging fields in Bio-medicine
• Work Package 2 (WP2) - Exploring novel materials systems
• Work Package 3 (WP3) - Extending Analysis – High Resolution PIXE
• Work Package 4 (WP4) Extending Analysis – MeV SIMS
The objectives of SPRITE are
• Train 10 European Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and 4 Experienced Researchers (ERs) in the technology and applications of ion beams.
• Provide each ESR and ER with career enhancing skills through a series of training courses and through participation with non-academic organisations.
• Provide every ESR and ER with the opportunity to work in multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional environment by providing exchanges with other laboratories in the network who will provide a different aspect to their research project.
Work Package 1 (WP1) is articulated around three sites, SNAKE (Munich), CENGB (Bordeaux) and IBC (Surrey). WP1 focuses on new and emerging fields in bio-medicine using ion beams. The SNAKE project studies the response of mitochondria after microbeam irradiation. CENBG focuses on the response of sarcoma cells to different types of irradiation (protons and electron). For the IB115 cells, the results show a correlation between the dose delivered and the time. The IB106 cells tests are still ongoing to see any differences between these two cell lines. In the first part of the project the IBC has focused on the comparison between microbeam and broad beam irradiation. The emerging tendencies are: i) a more pronounced hypersensitivity (HRS) in comparison to broad beam; ii) a smaller extent of the HRS (0.10 Gy instead of 0.2 Gy for broad beam). Our hypothesis is that this is due to the Poisson statistic associated with the broad beam leading to a distribution of doses amongst the cell population.
Work Package 2 is led by KU Leuven and is aimed at potential industrial applications of ion beams for the creation and analysis of novel material systems such as wide band‐gap semiconductors and luminescent materials. In particular the materials explored challenge the current state‐of‐the‐art ion beam analysis capabilities and result in improved methodologies to enable an unprecedented fundamental understanding of these materials.
Work Package 3 is dedicated to emerging IBA methods and includes three sub-topics:
(a) High‐speed PIXE (HS‐PIXE) analysis with sub-100 µm lateral resolution suitable for lar¬ge sample area analysis (HZDR, IfG with ESR-7, ER-2),
(b) High-resolution micro X-ray analysis (HR-PIXE) based on parallel beam wavelength dispersive spectrometer and micro-beam proton excitation (JSI, IfG with ESR-8, ER-2).
(c) Development of a digital pulse processor (DPP) to improve the resolution of gas detectors (ETHZ with ER-3).
The HS-PIXE beam line has been installed and has been opened and preliminary results have been obtained on large sample areas for geological samples. HZDR and IfG have worked together to realise the implementation of HS-PIXE. ER-3 arrived at ETHZ during the summer of 2014 and joined in the activities.
In Work Package 4 (WP4) three sites are included, SUR (Surrey), IAEA (Vienna) and RBI (Zagreb). WP4 focuses on MeV-SIMS, which is a non-destructive analysis technique that provides information about the type of the molecules that make up a sample. This information about the molecular composition is obtained directly from molecules ejected from the sample itself.
In the framework of dissemination and outreach, ER4 (Julien Demarche) started his secondment work with the IAEA. He visited IAEA where he was participating together with the Physics Section staff in further development of the Accelerator Knowledge Portal (AKP). He has been also involved with the initiation and organisation of the IAEA’s recently launched coordinated research programme (CRP): Development of molecular concentration mapping techniques using MeV focussed ion beams. This CRP, cooperating with SPRITE, involves 12 worldwide laboratories by providing scientific collaboration with a significant international dimension; half of them are from outside Europe, like Japan, Australia, South-Africa, Thailand and Brazil.
Five SPRITE training courses have been completed, plus two other additional training course s have been made available to members of SPRITE. Four management meetings have been held. All Deliverables have either been delivered on time or on target to be delivered on time (there is 1 deliverable D1.4 (UBW) which is complete but a report is still required for the website. All Milestones, apart from two in WP4 (M4.1 and M4.5) from (SUR) have been delivered on time. These two Milestones should be delivered within the next two months. There are also 2 Milestones in WP1 M1.2a (UBW) and M1.4 (SUR) that are complete but a report is required for the web site.
Secondments are taking place. Some secondments take the form of short visits on a weekly or fortnightly basis, others are for a period of 2 weeks to 3 months. The way in which the secondments are offered is designed to be as flexible as possible so as to offer the optimum training and development opportunities for the ER or ESR.

During the period CEA (an original partner) was unable to recruit an ESR and opted to terminate their part in the project in May 2014. With the agreement of all remaining partners (and the EU project Officer) an amendment was made to Annexe 1 allowing the remaining ESR to be recruited by SUR. This ESR was recruited in Aug 2014. A further amendment will be required to Annexe 1, this is because the coordinator Prof Karen Kirkby has moved to the University of Manchester to take up a Chair in Proton Therapy Physics. This has been discussed with the partners and the EU Project Officer. An additional change will also be made at this time. This moves 3 months of ER time from IFG to ETHZ. This is because the ER at IFG wishes to take paternity leave before taking up a post at Stanford University in USA. This means that he will not be able to use all the ER time at IFG. All partners and the EU project Officer have agreed to this.