Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos

GANIL SPIRAL2 Grand Accélérateur National d'Ions Lourd (Caen, France)

GANIL is one of the leading laboratories in the world engaged in research with ion beams, providing stable beams, from carbon to Uranium, from 0 to 95 AMeV (depending on the nucleus), and radioactive beams, from 2 to 20 AMeV.

The cyclotrons complex

The GANIL cyclotrons complex is consisted of five cyclotrons and hundreds meters of beam line. Each year, it delivers more than 4.000 hours of beam time for nuclear physics and astrophysics, atomic physics, material sciences, radiobiology. Several experiments can be ran in parallel.

Scientists can choose their beams (type of ion, stable, radioactive, energy, intensity…) and GANIL staff is organized to supply them the chosen beam. Around 100 people work for the development, the running and the maintenance of the accelerators.

Five cyclotrons are on site to offer a large range of beam energies :

  • 2 compact cyclotrons (C01 and C02): Beam energy < 1 MeV/A
  • 2 separated sector cyclotrons (CSS1 and CSS2): 13.5 MeV/A < Beam energies < 100 MeV/A
  • 1 compact cyclotron SPIRAL1 for radioactive beams: Beam energy < 25 MeV/A

SPIRAL2 Superconducting Linear Accelerator

SPIRAL2 is a new facility which will open new horizons to research at GANIL. The SPIRAL2 LINAC (LINear ACcelerator) can accelerate lighter nuclei (protons, deuterons, helium) than the GANIL cyclotrons, thereby extending the research done until now.

The linear accelerator is made of 26 accelerating cavities, enclosed in 19 cryomodules. It is composed of niobium and cooled by liquid helium.

It also accelerates heavy ions up to nickel, at intensities 10 times greater than those currently available. This gain in intensity opens up new prospects.

Energies ranges :

  • 33 MeV for protons
  • 40 MeV for deuterons
  • < 14.5 MeV/A for heavy ions

High intensities:

  • up to 5 mA for deuterons
  • < 1mA for heavier ions

Beam production

8 ion sources:

  • 2 ion sources: ECR4 & ECR4M, Q/A ~ 1/9 à 1/3
  • ECR type NanoganIII (SPIRAL1)
  • Surface ionization (SPIRAL1)
  • 1 FEBIAD Source (SPIRAL1)
  • 1 ECR ion source, type Phoenix Booster (SPIRAL1)
  • 1 ECR GTS Source (R&D)
  • Laser Source (R&D)
  • 2 sources: ECR Q/A 1/3 and protons/deutons (SPIRAL2)

Web page:

ChETEC contact person: Francois de Oliveira Santos (Research Director CNRS, oliveira[at]