Press release of January 21, 2019

Focused Radiation

Easier access to Europe’s ion beam centers

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) has recently begun coordinating the EU project RADIATE, in which eighteen European partners make their ion beam facilities available for measurements by guests from the scientific community and the commercial sector. In addition, the development of software programs and support for junior researchers is part of the four-year project, which is funded by the EU with approximately ten million Euros. The project launch takes place on January 22nd and 23rd in Dresden.

Logo Radiate ©Copyright: HZDR


RADIATE stands for Research And Development with Ion Beams – Advancing Technology in Europe. Ion beams – that is, fast, charged particles – are used as a tool in this EU project to specifically change and analyze material surfaces. “The aim of the project is not only to grant more researchers easy access to the scientific infrastructures, but also to contribute to the competitiveness of European industry,” says coordinator Prof. Jürgen Fassbender, director of HZDR’s Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research. This institute also houses Europe’s most powerful ion beam center.

Ion beam technologies are indispensable in many fields. No processor or memory chips for computers, cell phones or digital cameras would exist without foreign atoms implanted in semi-conductor materials. Material properties can be customized using ion beams. This applies not only to the electronic properties, but also to the optical, magnetic or mechanical properties. The research has made significant advances in recent years, but the industry is not always sufficiently aware of the potential applications. A primary aim of RADIATE is therefore to familiarize users in all fields with the possibilities of ion beams and to ensure easy access to the top European facilities.

Ion beams are used, for example, in material analysis research because they enable researchers to study the chemical composition. This allows to detect defects and impurities and to determine the material quality. Ion beams also provide information about the age and origin of geological and archaeological samples. Further applications can be found in nanotechnology, astrophysics, as well as in the biological, material and environmental sciences.

All eighteen partners from academia and industry have joined in the RADIATE project under the European motto: “Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World”. They will provide flexible and easy access to the most important ion beam centers in Europe. In addition, they intend to develop software programs that will be freely available for all interested users. The partners want to outreach to researchers who previously had no ion beam technology in their portfolios. Lastly, supporting junior research scientists, education and training are on the agenda.

During the project, three innovation managers in Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary will support the eastern European partners in establishing spin-off companies from research institutions. The successful HZDR Innovation GmbH will serve as a model here. This HZDR subsidiary uses available capacities at the Ion Beam Center for services for the industrial sector.

Further information on RADIATE can be found here:

Project Partners:

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France / Costruzioni Apparecchiature Elettroniche Nucleari C.A.E.N. Spa, Italy / Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich, Switzerland / Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Germany / Institute Jozef Stefan, Slovenia / Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal / Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum, Belgium / Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Italiy / Ionoptika Ltd, England / Ionplus AG, Switzerland / Jyvaskylan Yliopisto, Finland / Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium / Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia Atommagkutato Intezete, Hungary / Orsay Physics SA, France / Ruder Boskovic Institute, Croatia / Universität der Bundeswehr Munich, Germany / University of Surrey, England / University of Vienna, Austria

Further Information:

Prof. Jürgen Fassbender, Director Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research at HZDR
Phone: +49 351 260-2345 | Mail:

Media contact:

Dr. Christine Bohnet | Head Communications | Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 260-2450 or +49 160 969 288 56 | Mail:
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf | Bautzner Landstraße 400 | D-01328 Dresden