A student sits at a desk in front of a large instrument board and turns a different dial with each hand, as he looks up at the monitor. A student sits at a desk in front of a large instrument board and turns a different dial with each hand, as he looks up at the monitor.

Ion Beam Lab

Powerful Technology in a Collaborative Space 

UAlbany’s renowned Ion Beam Lab (IBL) has developed unique capabilities for measurements, analyses and controlled modifications of materials using ion beams for more than 50 years.  

The sophisticated IBL equipment can be used for materials elemental and structural analysis, ion implantation, sample irradiation and nanostructure fabrication. Modest investments in facilities upgrades would yield even more valuable and much needed benefits to the larger research and development communities. 

The laboratory offers analysis techniques, not available anywhere else in the country, to our academic, industry and government partners. It also offers students and faculty a world-class facility for experiential learning, teaching and scholarship.

Reserve Equipment Time     Contact the Ion Beam Lab


The Impact of Ion Beam Techniques on Research 

From simulating solar winds and studying the effect of radiation on humans, microchips and batteries, to breaking down PFOAs in water, and treating cancer, ion beams serve as a powerful tool for a broad range of chemical, physical and biological research areas with various uses and impacts on society.

Research Technique

Uses & Impacts

Ion Implantation

Doping Silicon for computer chip manufacturing  

Hardening the surface of real devices 

Creating metastable materials 

Cleaving materials to yield single crystal thin films 

Creating reference samples for other methods of analysis

Simulating natural radiation damage

Thin Film Engineering

Aiding in the development of microelectronic devices 

Researching renewable energy technologies, such as advanced batteries 

Analyzing near surface elemental composition

Art History & Archaeology

Tracing element fingerprints to determine source of materials 

Authenticating materials used in art objects 

Understanding early technology 

Analyzing inks on paper or parchment, such as the Vineland map, Gutenberg bible and Mormon documents 


Characterizing the surface chemistry of ice and glass

Repulsion of ions from surface of liquids  

Surface chemistry of glass 

Fundamental Physics 

Containing ultra-cold neutrons in material bottles 

Exploring the role of hydrogen in amorphous silicon


Profiling defects in single crystal samples 

Determining impurity lattice sites in single crystals 

Radiation effects

Studying cancer treatments, including Boron Neutron Capture Therapy 

Creating calibration standards for researchers to determine low dose radiation damage’s effect on human DNA

Geology & Astronomy

Simulating solar wind damage to develop radiation hardening for satellites and spacecrafts 

Creating reference samples to analyze objects brought back from space  

Detecting damage tracks created by neutrons in geological rocks to search for Dark Matter 

Measuring atomic diffusion in minerals 

Studying weathering in geological and planetary samples 

Characterizing dissolution of minerals 



Contact the Ion Beam Lab
ES 001

1400 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Office Hours

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

The Ion Beam Lab is on the basement level between the Earth Science Building and the Biology Building.