The Superconducting RF group has been involved in the realization of superconducting particle accelerators since more than 30 years, starting in the 80s with the CERN LEP collider energy upgrade, for subnuclear physics, up to the current In-Kind contribution of important accelerator components for the two large European infrastructures XFEL and ESS, dedicated to the study of the properties of matter with photons and neutrons.
The core expertise of the group is the design, engineering, realization and characterization to their foreseen operational performance of radiofrequency superconducting accelerating systems.
The superconducting technology, thanks to its drastic reduction of ohmic losses in the accelerating structures, allows the realization of particle accelerators producing particle pulses with unprecedented intensity, quality and temporal structure. Thanks to superconductivity, new horizons will open both in fundamental physics facilities and in analytical facilities devoted to the understanding of our world. X-Rays produced by superconducting electron accelerators (like XFEL) or neutron pulses produced by superconducting proton accelerators (like ESS) will allow to produce three-dimensional images of the nanoworld, make movies of chemical reactions, investigate the structure of matter at the atomic/molecular level and study matter in extreme conditions, like those occurring inside planets and stars.
During the years the group has designed and realized, in collaboration with high technology industries, several types of niobium superconducting cavities for different project, as well as cryomodules for their operation. The accelerating structures have then been measured in the vertical cryostats of the LASA experimental area, which allows operation in a wide range of frequencies (350-800 MHz, 1.3 GHz and 3.9 GHz), at temperatures as low as 1.6 K. For the larger project sizes (as XFEL and ESS) the group also performed the necessary technology transfer for their industrial operation and followed the lifecycle of the procured components up to the facility operation.
The group know-how covers every aspect of the superconducting RF systems, from their design to their operation in an accelerator.