Principal characteristics of the facility and of the support offered to users:
The On-Line Isotope Mass Separator ISOLDE is a factory for short lived exotic isotopes available in ion beams with excellent purity and often highest intensity. In special cases isomeric and other specific ions can be provided.
Radioactive nuclides are produced in reactions of 1 GeV protons in thick high-temperature targets. More, than 600 isotopes with half-lives down to milliseconds of more than 60 elements have been produced at highest intensities. ISOLDE has two independent isotope separators feeding the same beamline system. A new laser ion source provides ion beams of extreme purity.
The large variety of available species allows not only the systematic study of atomic and nuclear properties and exotic decays far from the line of stability, but also research in related fields like astrophysics and weak-interaction physics. The possibility of pure radioactive implants opens access to the investigation of problems in solid state physics. Bio-medical studies using radioactive isotopes for diagnosis and therapy have introduced life-science into the research programme. The installation of a post-accelerator (REX ISOLDE) will open fields of research with radioactive ion beams of higher energies in 1999.
Equipment provided to the users includes electronics, computing equipment, laser installations, chemistry and radioactive laboratories, office space, and user workshops. Experimental installations for nuclear spectroscopy or solid state physics are available. New users will receive full support from the ISOLDE groups and research staff, and will be trained in all aspects of operating the separators.
Quantity of access being offered and number of users who may benefit: The facility offers up to 400 eight hour shifts with radioactive ion beams and corresponding shifts for preparation and set-up of experiments per year. This allows for about 30 new projects per year. With typically three to ten researchers per experiment, the number of expected new users is in the order of 200 per year. About 75% of them are eligible for support under the TMR programme.