The solid-state silicon surface barrier (SBD) detectors used in conventional Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy necessitate the use of MeV ion beams, as lower energy ions are stopped in the detectors’ dead layer. However, the particle accelerators needed to reach such energies are expensive and often have long startup times. A time of flight spectrometer has been developed at SUNY Geneseo’s Low Energy Ion Facility to perform Rutherford backscattering studies using ions with energies in the 10-50 keV range. It has been demonstrated that this spectrometer can accurately measure the kinetic energies of ions scattered off of targets. The spectrometer can also be used to measure the composition and thickness of thin targets. Initial results show good agreement between the results obtained with low energy ions from Geneseo’s Duoplasmatron ion source and those obtained via conventional RBS with MeV ions from Geneseo’s Pelletron tandem accelerator. Although initial results are encouraging, improvements in resolution and sensitivity must be made before the spectrometer offers the expected advantages.


Sponsored by Kurt Fletcher