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Ion Beam Materials Laboratory

The Ion Beam Materials Laboratory (IBML) on the University of Tennessee (UT) campus is a research partnership between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that provides unique new capabilities that are available to the UT and ORNL scientific community, as well as other research and development organizations.

The IBML is equipped with a 3MV tandem accelerator, two ion sources, three beamlines, and four endstations that provide state-of-the-art capabilities for ion beam analysis, materials modification, fundamental research on ion-solid interactions, and applied research on radiation effects in materials for nuclear and space applications. This facility is committed to the university’s mission of research and teaching, so the instruments are available for qualified faculty, students, and staff.

Qualified users may reserve instrument time through the IBML facility manager. The capabilities of the IBML are also available as a research service.

Ion Beam Materials Laboratory

The IBML staff examines instrumentation on the ion-beam endstations.


Ion beam analysis (IBA) can be used to obtain elemental and isotopic composition profiles in the near-surface layer of materials. IBA methods can achieve elemental resolution in the parts per million range, and depth resolution is typically on the order of a few nanometers over depths to a few micrometers. IBA capabilities and service include:

  • Rutherford and non-Rutherford backscattering spectrometry
  • Ion channeling
  • Nuclear reaction analysis
  • Elastic recoil detection analysis

Ion irradiation can be used to conduct fundamental and applied research on the interaction of energetic ions with solids and subsequent effects on the structure and properties of the irradiated materials.

Ion implantation involves irradiating materials with one or more ions of specific elemental or isotopic type to introduce specific electronic dopants, isotopes or chemical changes into materials to tailor or modify properties. Ion beam irradiation and implantation capabilities and service include:

  • Ions of most elements, except rare gases, from hydrogen to gold
  • Energies from 500 keV up to about 30 MeV, depending on ion and current needed
  • Controlled irradiation temperatures from 140 to 1475 K

Support Staff at IBML

Support staff helps conduct research at the IBML.


Use rates:

  • $60 per hour – base rate for qualified users
  • $140 per hour – rate for other users (base rate plus cost for IBML support staff)
  • $60 per hour — additional IBML staff, if required
  • $12 per hour – liquid nitrogen rate for experiments requiring cooling or heating

External academic use rates:

  • $211.50 per hour – assisted use rate (plus above rates that apply)
  • $18 per hour — liquid nitrogen

External market use rates:

  • $300 per hour – assisted use rate (plus above rates that apply)
  • $25 per hour — liquid nitrogen


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