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Ion Beam Techniques Roadmap

Aliz Simon (IAEA, Vienna, Austria)  

Steering Committee
Nuno Pessoa Barradas ( C2TN - IST, Lisboa, Portugal)         
Massimo Chiari (INFN, Firenze, Italy)
David Cohen (ANSTO, Menai, Australia)
Ian Vickridge (INSP, UPMC-CNRS, Paris, France)
Roger Webb (IBC, Guildford, UK)

Ion Beam Techniques (IBTs) encompass a suite of analytical and modification techniques in which energetic (0.1 to 100 MeV) beams of charged particles (Z=1, 2 and higher) are directed onto a material to be analysed or modified. In analysis, the composition and in some cases structure of the material are inferred from the nature of detected induced radiation: the type of particle, its probability distributions as a function of incident beam energy and direction, as well as the detected particle energy and angle.

Individual accelerators often find application across a broad range of disciplines and domains. The underlying technology associated with megavolt accelerators is thus common across many fields of application, so that developments and evolution driven by one particular application will feed through to other areas.

IBTs have been used for over 50 years now, and much of the underlying physics, data, and machinery are considered to be mature. They have contributed substantially at the scientific forefront, and gathered many successes - for example in climate studies with cosmogenic isotopes, in developing enhanced materials, in understanding ageing of nuclear fuel plant components, or also bringing significant input to hadron-therapy, which is likely to have huge consequences for human health.
The challenge is now to enhance the reputation and relevance of accelerator-based techniques for addressing evolving societal and technological challenges, and to guide accelerator technology and the associated infrastructure to capture future developments proactively. We believe that a Roadmap for the Ion Beam Techniques would serve as an excellent tool for such purposes.
The main objective therefore is to develop a Roadmap for the Ion Beam Techniques which will include aspects of strategic planning of accelerator science and technology in the mid-term (5-15 years).
Launching the IBT Roadmap 
A Panel on the IBT Roadmap was held at the 22nd International Conference on Ion Beam Analysis (IBA – 2015), that took place in Opatija, Croatia, June 14-19, 2015. This was the first opportunity to present the IBT Roadmap to the scientific community, and to ask for input and feedback on the technological developments in ion beams, during the conference, and also in the form of a questionnaire, hosted on the Surrey Ion Beam Centre website, that remains open for contributions (see questionnaire here).
The questionnaire is a way to consult the IBA Community on their views and prospects for Ion Beam Analysis Techniques and for the IBT community to actively provide their view, comments and input especially on the milestones and metrics on the key topics of the IBT Roadmap.  
A discussion thread is also available on this page to welcome your further discussions and views on an IBT Roadmap and its technical topics. Please click on the IBT Roadmap Forum on this page.
An IAEA Technical Meeting was held on “Formulating strategies for keeping accelerator based technologies at the forefront of scientific endeavours",
19-23 October 2015, Lisbon, Portugal. The meeting was attended by around 40 ion beam researchers from all over the world. For each main goal of the IBT Roadmap, requirements were established, together with the steps needed to attain them, and including metrics for given parameters. Working groups were established on different aspects of the IBT Roadmap. The forthcoming meeting report will be an important working document for the further development of the IBT Roadmap.
 The below flow chart shows the planned activities:
Fig.1 - Flow Chart of planned activities
Initial Draft of the Ion Beam Techniques Roadmap
1.        Purpose
To enhance the reputation and relevance of accelerator-based techniques for addressing evolving societal and technological challenges:
-         Extending application of Energetic Ion Beams in answering key questions that will
•   Improve materials properties
•   Lead to increased sustainability of natural resources
•   Extend the understanding of the natural and cultural environments
•   Improve human health
•   Ensure the security of people and societies 
-         Contributing to the Knowledge Society through education and training.

-         Guiding accelerator technology and the associated infrastructure to capture future developments proactively – to lead rather than to follow

2.   2.               Scope
The Roadmap is proposed to cover scientific and technological developments of Ion Beam Techniques defined both by the nature of the accelerators that are used, and the ways in which the ion beams are used. Accelerator systems and technologies are in scope:
 Accelerator systems and technologies for:  
Acceleration Voltages from
100 kV
10 MV
Ions from
Science from
Applications from
Radiation Effects
Beams from
Single Ions
Continuous Beams
Length scales from
Dimensions from
Environment from

*By 4D, we mean the three spatial dimensions, plus time – for example in Real-time IBA.
3.       3.    Primary Goals
  The primary goals of the Ion Beam Techniques Roadmap are:
·         To keep Accelerator-Based Ion Beam Techniques at the forefront of scientific endeavour
·         To improve key aspects of performance of IBA
·         To show significant impact on societal problems
·         To significantly increase human knowledge
·         To ensure transmission of competencies across generations
·         To promote internationally the adoption of Best Practice
4. Topics
·     Budget Ion Beam Analysis: low-cost analysis
·     Ultimate precision
·     Real-time Ion Beam Techniques
·     Reducing the instrument footprint
·     Improving accelerator ion source reliability
·     Unattended automated remote accelerator operation and analysis
·     High count-rate and high turnaround methods
5.    Metrics
Some considerable further effort is necessary to identify pertinent and robust metrics if progression along the roadmap is to be followed and the Roadmap adjusted as necessary in time. Whilst some metrics such as bibliometry can probably be implemented with existing tools and databases, many others, such as costing, staff evolution, end-user base, will require special efforts to obtain, assess and consolidate suitable information from the many accelerator laboratories. This needs to be specifically addressed at the Technical Meeting on “Formulating strategies for keeping accelerator based technologies at the forefront of scientific endeavours” and before, via the below on-line input.
5.        6.   Milestones
Milestones embody measurable progress along the path set by the roadmap to attain the desired goals. They must therefore be directly linked to the goals. The milestones may be continuously varying measurable quantities such as numbers of publications, costs of analyses and so on, or specific events such as demonstration of a new technological platform. It is expected that a set of major milestones will be defined by the end of the Technical Meeting and will need to be reviewed on a regular basis. They will also obviously evolve along with the surrounding landscape.
Focus will also be set on the dissemination and public engagement in order to improve the visibility of Ion Beam Techniques and foster synergies and networking with other analytical techniques.
Provide your input 
The community - engineers in scientists conducting research and development in accelerator science (academic and industrial), top managers and managers, education specialists, business analysts, policymakers and Representative of Research Executives Agencies - is invited to share their views, thoughts on the short-term and mid-term developments of Ion Beam Techniques.