Phoenix Nuclear Labs has developed a high current, continuous wave, long lifetime negative hydrogen ion source as a potential injector for next generation intensity frontier proton accelerators.
Lifetime and reliability issues are especially troublesome for existing negative hydrogen (H-) ion sources. Nonetheless, negative ion sources are still commonly used across a broad range of applications due to the fact that for many applications, downstream system components require negative rather than positive ions.
PNL has designed and is currently building a negative hydrogen ion source that can produce high DC current output (10-15 mA) and has a long lifetime (years). The near term need for such a source is to push the Intensity Frontier of particle physics, and there are several other applications with similar needs both within the National Laboratory System and within the commercial sector. A near term goal for some programs is to deliver >1 MW of beam power to target.
Stage 1 of such an accelerator will likely include a GeV-scale linac that will be able to operate at higher current levels than have ever been achieved at these energies. Construction of the ion source prototype is underway and preliminary testing will begin in late 2014.