Irradiation Areas



The Fermilab Detector R&D program revolves around a series of institutional capabilities, typically not available elsewhere. The types of facilities that contribute to detector research include: the Silicon Detector Facility, extensive experience in Cryogenic and Vacuum Engineering, a unique High Energy Test Beam Facility, and a talented staff to support them.


A gap in the M01 area of the MTest beamline provides 120 GeV protons at a maximum flux of 1.5 E11 protons/spill. This gap is approximately 15 cm long. There is a SEM beam flux monitor just upstream of this gap. Spills are 4.2 seconds long, at a rate of 1 per 60 seconds. The beam spot size is about 1cm2.

The area is accessible by users, with the appropriate training. There is a cable plant that connects the Meson Service buildings to the M01 area, but the Service buildings are typically not accustomed to user activity. Accelerator Division radiation technicians typically will help place the devices to be irradiated as well as retrieving them and storing them until any activity has decayed away. Use of this area may conflict with FTBF. Interested users will be asked to write an MOU and contact the FTBF Manager for approval & scheduling.

M01 M01

SY Dump

A gap in the SY Dump beamline provides 120 GeV protons at a maximum flux of 6 E14 protons/spill. Spills are 4.2 seconds long, at a rate of 1 per 60 seconds. Use of this area will conflict with FTBF and the Sea Quest experiment. Interested users will be asked to write an MOU and contact the FTBF Manager for approval & scheduling.

Neutron Therapy Facility

In the middle of the Linac there is a medical treatment area called NTF [4]. This facility can divert Linac pulses at the 66 MeV point and impinge them on a beryllium and gold target. This produces fast neutrons with an average energy of about 10 MeV.  The flux of neutrons is on the order of 106 neutrons per pulse, with 10 Hz of pulses during a dedicated period of irradiation lasting minutes. A treatment platform and chair can be lowered into the beamline from ground level (see Figure 3). There are limited access points, so it is difficult to bring arbitrary signals in or out of this room. Long term irradiation (i.e. hours) is not typically supported at this facility. While this facility is dedicated to medical treatment, it has been used for experimental tests and even industry applications. 

More Information

ES&H Instrumentation Calibration Area

The Environment, Safety and Health group at Fermilab has a facility where radiation monitors from around the lab are calibrated.  This facility has 3 modestly sized rooms, mostly empty, where detectors can be placed anywhere from right next to the source, or several meters away.  The sources used are mostly Cs-137.  The strongest source used is 200 Curies, with an array of sources at order of magnitudes lower from this activity.  This strongest source translates to about 3 x 106 photons/sec/cm2, or 700 Rads/hr at a distance of 30 cm. The rooms are easily accessible and have penetrations to allow for a cable plant. No detector R&D has been performed at this facility, but the staff, and head of ES&H, are willing to support initial small scale efforts that do not take too much time.

In addition to the gamma sources, this facility also has a very strong AmBe neutron source. The activity is approximately 6 x 107 neutrons/second. Long term exposure (weeks) of small items to this source can be considered.  At 30 cm distance from this source, a total exposure of 5500 neutrons/sec/cm2 can be obtained.  Closer distances are allowed.


Research Techniques Seminar
These seminars cover technical topics including detector R&D, construction and calibration methods, test beam results, as well as data analysis methods and simulation.


Petra Merkel
  • Petra Merkel
  • General Detector R&D Technical Coordinator
  • Office: 630.840.2119
  • email:

Join the Community

Interested parties are invited to join the '' email list. This email list is used to inform parties interested in detector research at Fermilab, and elsewhere. Notices of upcoming meetings, talks, and conferences will be sent out to this list. In addition, periodic summaries of the work being done at Fermilab will be sent.

To subscribe to this list, send an email message to the address, with the following line in the body of the message:
subscribe detectors Firstname Lastname
with your own name substituted where indicated. You should receive a notice back indicating you have joined the list, and a second notice with a brief welcome message.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Petra Merkel.