National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory

Daniela Leitner
Daniela Leitner
Adjunct Professor of Physics
Ph.D., Physics with Distinction, University of Technology, Vienna (1995)
Joined NSCL in October 2010
Phone (517) 908-7455
Fax (517) 353-5967
Office 1247-A
LeitnerD at

Daniela Leitner

My research interests have centered on the development and implementation of high-intensity Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) ion sources for high charge state heavy-ion beams and recently have expanded to include heavy-ion linear accelerators; specifically the construction of the ReA3 ReAccelerator at NSCL.

Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) ion sources utlize resonantly heated magnetically confined plasmas to create highly charged ions similar to fusion plasma devices. In the last three decades, remarkable performance improvements of ECR injector systems have been made, mainly due to advances in magnet technology as well as an improved understanding of the ECR ion source plasma physics. As senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, I led the development of the fully superconducting Versatile ECR ion source for Nuclear Science (VENUS), which is currently the highest performance ECR ion source worldwide. At NSCL, VENUS will be used as the injector for the high-power driver LINAC of FRIB, and I am looking forward to continuing ECR ion source development for the FRIB facility.

Michigan State University is on the forefront of ECR ion source development. The fully superconducting ECR ion source SuSI is one of the highest performance ECR ion sources worldwide. Together with the room temperature ECR ion source ARTEMIS ECR ion source, SuSI provides intense ion beams to the Coupled Cyclotron Facility. The two sources are also used to investigate fundamental plasma properties and ion beam transport properties of the multispecies beam extracted from the ECR ion sources. Due to the magnetic confinement necessary to sustain the ECR plasma, the ion density distribution across the extraction aperture is inhomogeneous and charge-state dependent. The initial ion beam distribution at the extraction aperture is still a subject of research. Developing adequate simulation tools for ion beams extracted from ECR ion source injectors is one of the research goals of my group.

Additionally, I am overseeing the commissioning and operation of the NSCL’s new reaccelerator called ReA3. Though rare isotopes flying at half the speed of light have many uses, many experiments require these beams to be at lower energies. To do this, the lab is constructing beam thermalizers to cool the beam down before bunching and reaccelerating the rare isotopes to energies of 0.3 to 12 MeV/nucleon. This will allow experiments such as low-energy Coulomb excitation and transfer reaction studies as well as for the precise study of astrophysical reactions.

I also am involved in the development of DIANA (Dakota Ion Accelerator for Nuclear Astrophysics), a small accelerator facility, which is proposed to be installed in a deep underground laboratory in the US. Three scientific topics in stellar nucleosynthesis will be addressed by DIANA: (i) solar neutrino sources and the metallicity of the sun; (ii) carbon-based nucleosynthesis; and (iii) neutron sources for the production of trans-Fe elements in stars.

Selected Publications

Progress towards the development of a realistic electron cyclotron resonance ion source extraction model, D. Winklehner, D. Leitner, J. Y. Benitez, C. M. Lyneis, M. M. Strohmeier, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 02B706 (2012)

Status Of The Reaccelerator Facility Rεa For Rare Isotopes Beam Research, Daniela Leitner, Chris Compton, Alberto Facco*, Matt Hodek, Alain Lapierre, Sam Nash, Dan Morris, Georgios Perdikakis, John Popielarski, Nathan Usher, Walter Wittmer, Q. Zhao, X. Wu,

Ion beam properties for ECR ion source injector systems, D. Leitner, D. Winklehner, M. Strohmeier, 2011 JINST 6 P07010

High intensity production of high and medium charge state uranium and other heavy ion beams with VENUS, D. Leitner, M. L. Galloway, T. J. Loew, C. M. Lyneis, I. Castro Rodriguez, and D. S. Todd, Rev. Sci. Inst. 79 02C710 (2008)

Measurement of the high energy component of the x-ray spectra in the VENUS electron cyclotron resonance ion source, ” D. Leitner, J.Y. Benitez, C.M. Lyneis, D.S. Todd, T. Ropponen, J. Ropponeen, H. Koivisto, and S. Gammino Rev. Sci. Inst. 79 033302 (2008)

ECR Ion Sources, from “The Physics and Technology of Ion Sources”, D. Leitner and C.M. Lyneis, edited by Ian Brown, second edition, John Wiley & Sons, USBN 3-527-40410-4, (2004).