Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Scott LaBrake


PIGE, Particle Accelerator, Target System, Alignment System, Quantitative


The effects of pollution on the ecosystem are paramount in our society, permeating air, soil, and drinking water. One contaminant of concern is per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also referred to as "forever chemicals", which contains fluorine (F), a potentially harmful element to humans. To investigate pollution in the environment, it is necessary to make accurate measurements of the distribution and concentrations of these PFAS chemicals. To do this, soil samples are collected and analyzed using Particle Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) via the Union College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory's (UCIBAL) particle accelerator. A 2.2 MeV proton beam comes into contact with a sample and that sample emits gamma-rays which allows for the identification of elements, specifically fluorine. To get an accurate concentration of fluorine in any particular sample, the charge incident on the sample and the solid angle between the target and detector is needed. The charge is measured via a Faraday cup, however accuracy of the solid angle requires a precision target system to align the proton beam, sample, and detector. An Ultimaker 3D printer was utilized for the construction of the alignment system with designs made in AutoDesk 360. We will highlight the design considerations, including dimensions, thought process, failures and successes, of a new target system built to enable fluorine concentration measurements.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.