In September 2013, Dr Tim Noakes from ASTeC’s Accelerator Physics group visited the Institute of Semiconductor Physics in Novosibirsk, which is part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This visit marks the latest meeting in a long running collaboration between the two institutes which dates back to 2006. The main focus of this collaboration over the years has been the development of high quantum efficiency photocathodes based on semiconductor technology for use in Energy Recovery Linacs (ERLs), such as the ALICE accelerator based at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. One of the key developments to have come from this collaboration has been the Photocathode Preparation Facility (PPF) originally designed for the ALICE photoinjector upgrade and currently used as an important research tool for photocathode research within ASTeC. More recently, an ISP scientist (Dr Heinrich Schiebler) played an important role in the commissioning of the Transverse Electron Energy Spread Spectrometer (TESS) at Daresbury, an instrument designed to allow the detailed characterisation of the properties of electrons emitted from a photocathode.
Whilst at the ISP Dr Noakes toured the laboratory, which includes extensive facilities for the preparation and characterisation of semiconductor photocathodes; along with accelerator science applications these materials can be used in other areas such as image intensifiers and photomultiplier tubes. He also took part in an experiment to characterise the longitudinal energy distribution of electrons emitted from a GaAs(111)B photocathode using some of the unique equipment at ISP. The results of this work may form part of a larger study of these materials, which could ultimately be published. Work was also begun on a draft version of a paper based on results taken on a previous visit by ASTeC staff to ISP (Dr Boris Militsyn and Dr Lee Jones).
In addition, extensive discussions were held with Dr Alexander Terekhov, the leader of the photocathode research activity at ISP, on the future direction of this collaboration. More visits between the institutions are planned in the next year or so to carry out further collaborative experiments. In particular, these experiments will exploit the state-of-the-art capabilities (represented by the PPF and TESS) which are now in place in the Vacuum Science laboratory here at Daresbury. It is hoped that much more interesting and useful science, including publications in high profile journals will come from this collaboration.
Whilst in Novosibirsk, Dr Noakes also took the opportunity to visit the Energy Recovery Linac at the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, which is one of the few other such machines in the world besides the ALICE accelerator at Daresbury.