Andromede is an IN2P3
research platform

Andromede is an interdisciplinary platform of the Laboratoire de Physique des 2 infinis Irène Joliot-Curie - IJCLab (UMR9012) which contribute to the scientific and technical skills development of Paris Saclay University. It is open to the academic and industrial world in the fields of biology, biochemistry, astrophysics and astro-chemistry, molecular chemistry, and chemistry and physics of materials.


Biology, Health,
Ionic Imaging

Ion imaging

in materials

Ion source


Accelerator and ion source

The ion beams are accelerated at high energy by a 4MV NEC Pelletron ® accelerator. The voltage can be adjusted from 500 kV to 4 MV. The terminal of this accelerator is designed to receive two kinds of ion sources, an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) source and a liquid metal ion source (LMIS).

The ECR source is a Microgan manufactured by Pantechnik with a RF frequency of 10GHz and a magnetic well adjustment allowing the production of multi-charged atomic ions or molecular ions. The LMIS column is an Orsay Physics filtered column, incorporating the mass selection of ions delivered by the sourcenamed NAPIS (Nano Particles Ion Source) which produces atomic ions, cluster and metallic nanoparticles.

Beam lines

The Andromede platform has three experimental lines behind an analysis magnet: A 90° line for selecting atomic and molecular beams of ions with mass-to-charge ratios of less than 70 (e.g. Germanium, Ge+) for an acceleration voltage of 4 MV.

A beam line at 1°29 is dedicated mainly to macromolecules and gold cluster beams. A third beam line can be made available at 70°.

Each beam line is equipped with diagnostic ion beam for determining position, size and intensity. The slots allow a selection of beam sizes from mm to hundreds of μm.

Ion beams and characteristics: Source ECR Microgan

The ions produced by this source are selected at the accelerator terminal by a Wien filter.

The ECR source, in its multi-charged atomic ion configuration, provides very high beam intensity, up to 500 μA for Helium, 100 μA for carbon and even 40 μA for argon A4+ and a few μA for A8+.

In the configuration favoring the production of molecular ions we obtain a few μA of H2+, CnHm+, (n = 1-3, m = 1-8) , 50 -100 μA of CO1-2+ (100 μA of CO + and 50 μA of CO2+ ) and 20 μA of SF5+. Other molecular gases can be envisaged and tens of nA of C60n+ can be produced by using an oven.

Ion beams and characteristics: Source LMIS NAPIS

The NAPIS column is equipped with a LMIS (Liquid Metal Ion Source) providing beams of metallic atomic ions, clusters and nanoparticles. The intensities of these beams, for 20 kV acceleration, are about 50 nA for atomic ions, several to ten nA for clusters and around the nA for nanoparticles of 400 gold atoms. The diameter of these quasi-parallel beams injected into the accelerator is of the order of 500 microns. Currently gold and bismuth are used, but other metals such as gallium, tin, indium, silver can also be adapted.

Sources d’ions R&D

In addition to the accelerator platform, ionic columns equipped with the ECR source and the NAPIS source are available to test source developments and to produce new beams. These devices are also available for analysis and material modifications in the low energy range (a few keV).


Partners of EQUIPEX Andromede



parallax background

Andromede for everyone

Andromede delivers a wide variety of ion beams with energies ranging from a few hundred keV to several MeV. a. Atomic beams from proton to gold. Rare gases He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe are also available. b. Molecular beams from the simplest CO, CH4 to large clusters of C60. c. Metal cluster ions of gold (currently) from dimer to nanoparticles comprising up to 1000 atoms.

 An analysis magnet allows selection of ions based on their mass to charge ratio and energy. Three lines are available, corresponding to the deflection angles of 90°, 70° for light atomic and molecular ions, and 1°29 for cluster ions and nanoparticles.

On the 90° and 70° line can be performed nuclear physics experiments (eg. Stella of the IPHC), or installed irradiation stations to simulate the effects of radiation.

On the 1°29 line, a mass spectrometer with an electron and proton emission microscope allows micrometric ion imaging. This line is open for studies of particle-surface interactions, modification of materials, surface analysis and ionic imaging.


In the field of nanotechnologies and surfaces, Andromede responds to the great need of very high resolution surface analysis tools both in mass spectrometry and in ion imaging. Access to the chemical characterization of a nanometric volume is envisaged.

Citizen & Human Health

Andromeda will have a considerable impact in the field of human health via studies carried out on bacteria and their interactions with the brain and withcells in the intestines, for example, which will lead to a better understanding of the harmful and beneficial mechanisms of these interactions.


Andromeda remains unique in Europe by the wide range of available probes and allows France to complete its range of techniques of nano-characterization, surface analysis and simulation for materials in the fields of chemistry, biology, physics and astro-chemistry.


Andromeda will be accessible to doctoral students, engineers and researchers. Trainings will be available on a number of topics such as the interaction between ions and matter, properties of the material, as well as high resolution instrumentation.


The use of Andromeda by the industry will allow analysis in a wide variety of areas such as materials, human health and energy.