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Date of Last update : 2019.05.15 Rivision Request
Life Cycle Status
Operational since 1992
Mission and objective
The Isotope Separator On-Line DEvice, ISOLDE, is a facility dedicated to the production of a large variety of radioactive beams, located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN. Since 1992, the facility is receiving protons at 1.4 GeV from the Proton-Synchrotron Booster (PSB). This energetic proton beam is sent onto a variety of targets to produce exotic radioisotopes via spallation, fragmentation and fission reactions. The ISOLDE facility provides low energy radioactive beams and post-accelerated beams up to 10 MeV/u.In the last 50 years the ISOLDE facility has gathered unique expertise in research with radioactive beams. Over 700 isotopes of more than 70 elements have been used in a wide range of research domains, including cutting edge studies in nuclear structure, atomic physics, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental interactions. These probes are also used to do frontier research in solid state and life sciences.
RI Keywords
Radioactive ion beams,ISOL-type facility,Mass separator,Post-accelerator,Nuclear ground-state properties,Decay mode studies,Nuclear reactions and astrophysics,Applications in solid-state physics and life sciences
RI Category
Nuclear Research Facilities
Scientific Domain
Chemistry and Material Sciences;Biological and Medical Sciences;Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics
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- Experimental beamlines

A dozen experimental beamlines for fixed and travelling experiments: laser spectroscopy, ion traps, decay studies, Coulomb excitation and transfer reactions, collections, and more.

- Two target systems

2 front-ends for production, ionization, and extraction of radioactive beams.

- Two magnetic separators: GPS and HRS

Isobaric separation of the produced beams. m/dm around 500 for GPS and up to 5000 for HRS.

- Post-accelerator

HIE-ISOLDE (before: REX-ISOLDE) post-accelerator for reaching 5.5MeV/u (in 2015) for radioactive beams from He up to U.

- RILIS: resonant ionization laser ion source

Online and offline systems of pulsed lasers for efficient and selective ionization of radioactive beams.


- Computational resources

CERN large-scale computing.

- MEDICIS project

Production of innovative isotopes for medicine.

- Physics group and administration

User support, access to the laboratory, training (students, seminars, workshops).

- International cooperation

Contacts with laboratories in ISOLDE member states and beyond.

- Access to Accelerator

Access to the facility.