Launch of the high-current pulsed ion accelerator INURA at Nazarbayev University

The novel ion accelerator facility INURA (Innovative Nazarbayev University’s Research Accelerator) was recently installed at Nazarbayev University, on the 1st floor of building S4.  It was with excitement that Nazarbayev University used the facility to produce its first ion beam!  Successful construction of the facility was the culmination of five years of effort, made possible by funding from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, through the state target program – “NU-Berkeley Strategic Initiative in Warm-Dense Matter, Advanced Materials and Energy Sources”.

The accelerator was designed and fabricated in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU).  From NU’s side, the project was conceived of and directed by Dr. Kanat Baigarin, and executed by a team guided by Drs. Alexander Tikhonov and Marat Kaikanov, an Assistant Professor in Physics (SST) and an Assistant Professor and NLA Senior Researcher, respectively.

INURA is a high-current pulsed ion accelerator, developed to be multi-purpose and used in both theoretical and applied research.   It provides a 10 000 Amperes ion current in 80 nanoseconds, with ion energy of 400 keV.  This technology can modify a material’s structure and properties.  INURA, will not only modify, but will also fabricate new advanced materials ranging from solid bulk to nano.  Additionally, the accelerator will be used for plasma and charged particle beams studies.  Finally, future uses include the development and commercialization of new technologies, including but not limited to the hardening of materials, improving wear-and-tear resistance, fabricating nano-powders, and applications in the bio-agricultural realm.

INURA’s capabilities have already attracted a large amount of interest from several research groups at NU, and other Kazakhstani and international research organizations!   INURA will be used in collaborative research, and some projects have already begun including: fabrication of transparent conductive coatings; ion beam transport and focusing in plasma; fabrication of nano-powders and modification of nano-structures.