Direct Electronuclear Production of Tc-99m Precursor at the BTF

In the framework of a scientific collaboration with INFN-LNF (BTF, FISMEL, and SPCM teams), researchers from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL, UK) and ENEA explored an alternative approach to produce Tc-99m radiopharmaceutical, a crucial diagnostic tool in medical imaging, without relying on nuclear reactors. The team has successfully used a dedicated high energy electrons beam from BTF  (E=504 MeV) on a specially designed target by RAL and setup by BTF and SPCM, to investigate the feasibility of direct electronuclear production. A preliminary target solution, consisting of a cascade of very thin foils made of natural Molybdenum, was irradiated in the BTF on March 27-28, 2023 by FISMEL direct supervision, and measured by FISMEL itself in the days after. Gamma spectroscopy was used to measure the radionuclides produced and their activity, which are currently compared to the updated MC predictions, using the real exposure data acquired during the beamtime. The preliminary results confirm the success of the feasibility study. Moving forward, the team will focus on designing a well-optimized target made of Mo-100 enriched to maximize the Mo-99 activity, building upon the positive outcomes of this study. Furthermore, the experimental setup enabled the measurement of the Mo-100(e, e’n)Mo99 cross section at 504 MeV, providing valuable input to the assessment of the physical model used in the Monte Carlo code. Compared to the photonuclear method, where electrons are used to produce bremsstrahlung photons, this direct electronuclear production method should offer several advantages, including reduced harsh environmental dose and reduced spurious secondary RN …

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Plasma accelerator research and training boosted by EU funding

High level fellowships will carry out an interdisciplinary and cross-sector plasma accelerator research and training program for the new EuPRAXIA research infrastructure. The EuPRAXIA Doctoral Network (EuPRAXIA-DN) is a new Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Network (MSCA-DN) offering 12 high-level fellowships between universities, research centres and industry that will carry out an interdisciplinary and cross-sector plasma accelerator research and training program. The network will start on 1 January 2023 and benefit from more than 3.2 M€ of funding over its 4-year duration. Several tens of thousands of particle accelerators are in use today with varied applications in research, industry, medicine and other fields. Yet accelerator usage could be much more widespread, were it not limited by cost and size constraints, especially in hospitals, universities, and small and medium size companies. This would enable ground-breaking applications and innovations on a much larger scale. A possible solution to this bottleneck is the development of more compact – and consequently more cost-efficient – accelerator technologies, a strategy that has been investigated in the past two decades bringing forth plasma accelerators as one of its most promising candidates. EuPRAXIA is the first European project that develops a dedicated particle accelerator research infrastructure based on novel plasma acceleration concepts and laser technology. It focuses on the development of electron accelerators and underlying technologies, their user communities, and the exploitation of existing accelerator infrastructures in Europe. It was accepted onto the ESFRI roadmap for strategically important research infrastructures in June 2021 as a European priority.   Expected …

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QUAX @LNF “cools down” the engines

The first commissioning test of QUAX has been successfully performed at LNF. The first data taking, 120 minutes long, of the QUAX@LNF (QUaerere AXions) was conducted last week at the COLD laboratory. QUAX is an experiment devoted to the search of dark matter in the form of axions.

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Experiments in BTF orbit

The activity of the Beam Test Facility (BTF) of the Frascati National Laboratory included two operating slots (test beams) to test, for the first time, as many experimental apparatuses born in two distinct INFN collaborations and Chinese scientific and government institutes.

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Completed the installation of the RICH detector at the Jefferson Laboratory

On June 2, the second module of the RICH detector (Ring Imaging Cherenkov) was installed in the CLAS12 spectrometer at the Jefferson Laboratory in the USA. This marked the completion of an adventure lasting more than 10 years, which started in 2011 when the physicists of the Frascati National Laboratories proposed the construction of a detector allowing the identification, in energy zones not otherwise accessible, of particles with the “strange” quark s (K mesons). This to permit the CLAS12 experiment to broaden the research field on the structure of the nucleon and the role that quarks and gluons play in it.

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Published on Nature the new results of SPARC_LAB

The SPARC_LAB research team at the Frascati National Laboratory has recently demonstrated that the plasma-based acceleration technique allows to obtain an high-quality particle beam, comparable to the beams produced in traditional accelerators.

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