The NSL at Notre Dame utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to develop and characterize thin films and coatings targets for nuclear astrophysics experiments. The available techniques include resistive heating thermal and electron beam high vacuum evaporators, an anodizing station, cold rolling mills, alpha particle counting station, etc.
A three-pocket, water-cooled a Telemark source is used for electron beam assisted evaporation of materials. The system provides evaporation of high melting point (~2500ºC) materials. The electron beam gun is installed in a high vacuum chamber pumped both by roughing and cryo- pumps. The Veeco high vacuum thermal deposition system includes a cylindrical glass chamber pumped using a both roughing and diffusion pumps. Those systems allow to prepare wide variety isotopically pure targets. We also use a cold rolling technique to produce variety isotopically pure self-supporting foil targets.
A Durston rolling mill consisting of two hardened and polished rolls in 120 mm working size and a diameter of 60 mm is used.
A counting station is used to determine target thickness using alpha spectroscopy.
The NSL also utilizes world-class electron microscopes available at Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility to characterized targets and nanostructured material subjected to high energy ion irradiation. We also employ other material science tools available on campus to characterize the composition and microstructural uniformity of target materials.