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Toward the Formation of a Productive Future Society Utilizing Accelerators and Radiation


Unit Name:
Research Unit for Advanced Control Quantum Beams
Unit representative:
Associate Professor Kimikazu Sasa, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences
(Research Facility Center for Science and Technology, Tandem Accelerator Complex)

Unit members:
14 (10 faculty members, 2 postdoctoral fellows, 2 from other organizations)

Key words:
Quantum beam, radiation science, material structure analysis, ultratrace nuclide analysis, industry-university collaborative research



    Do you know that the University of Tsukuba has large numbers of accelerators and equipment using radioactive isotopes? The University of Tsukuba Tandem Accelerator Complex (UTTAC) has three electrostatic accelerators, including the world’s most advanced large tandem accelerator, the positron annihilation spectroscopy device, and other equipment. Our research involves the advanced control of radiation (quantum beams) generated by accelerators or obtained from radioactive isotopes artificially. The research unit conducts research in a wide range of scientific fields: nanoengineering of materials and analyses of their structures, research on the dynamics of the earth and environments, radioactive age dating, and surveys of nuclear disasters by radioactive nuclide analysis.

    The research unit conducts research on the advanced control of quantum beams at a global level, and promotes the development of a foundation for research-based education and university-industry cooperation with the view to establishing a multidisciplinary scientific field that contributes to society (Figure 1).

FIgure 1: Project outline

FIgure 1: Project outline

With the goal of forming the foundation for the world’s most advanced research-based education on quantum beams

    Since it is difficult to handle accelerators and equipment using radioactive isotopes, they are not widely used in academic and industrial fields. The University of Tsukuba has conducted basic research on quantum beams and the development of applied technologies for more than thirty years. As shown in Figure 2, the research unit conducts the research and development of advanced control quantum beam research equipment in the UTTAC. The research equipment makes it the world’s most advanced research facility, as it is not available in any other universities or research institutions. It is also important to implement education to help people obtain accurate knowledge on radiation. In addition to those advanced studies, we often accept high school students to encourage them to experience learning on radiation.

Figure 2: World's most advanced accelerator/RI equipments (UTTAC)

Figure 2: World’s most advanced accelerator/RI equipments (UTTAC)

Prospect of multidisciplinary research and industry-university collaborative studies using quantum beams

    The 6 MV tandem accelerator system, one of the world’s most advanced devices and scheduled to be introduced to the University of Tsukuba in 2014, can be applied to a variety of research and educational activities implemented by the university: analyses of advanced materials, high-precision nano-engineering, geo-environmental science, nuclear research/atomic physics, age dating of cultural assets and archaeological samples, and medical and drug-discovery fields. Using the above-mentioned advanced control quantum beam research equipment, the research unit continues to provide the industry with technologies and cooperate with product development. We are trying to create the seeds of technologies used in the quantum beam industry to develop a productive future society, which utilizes accelerators and radiation.

Social contributions and achievements
● Our project has been adopted as a “Project for Creation of Research Platforms and Sharing of Advanced Research Infrastructure” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Equipment for research on advanced control quantum beams has been made available to industrial and academic fields. More than 30 industry-university collaborative studies have already been conducted.
● Participation in TIA (Tsukuba Innovation Arena)-nano to implement the concept of open facilities including advanced research facilities.
● Organization of the “Tsukuba Advanced Equipment Shared Facility Collaborative Workshop” in collaboration with other research institutions in the Tsukuba area.
● The research unit serves as a leading research institution in Japan for electrostatic accelerators and the core facility in the research group.

(Interviewed on November 29, 2013)

Research Administration/Management Office at U Tsukuba TEL 029-853-4434