Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL)

TRIUMF, Vancouver , British Columbia
What the facility does

A purpose-built high-power Isotope Separator On-Line (ISOL) multi-user facility enabling world-class experiments

Areas of expertise

The Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) is the only multi-user facility in the world for producing rare isotopes.

Powered by some of the most advanced tools for producing and processing short-lived isotopes, ARIEL and the state-of-the art experimental facilities in the Isotope Separator and Accelerator (ISAC) facility will together revolutionize the study of isotopes for science, medicine, and industry. ARIEL enables TRIUMF and its partners to pursue critical advances in the understanding of isotopes and shed light on some of the most fundamental questions in science, including:

  • How and where are the heavy element in the universe — from iron to uranium — produced?
  • What are the best quantum materials for next-generation superconductors and batteries? 
  • How can we use rare isotopes in the fight against critical illnesses, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease?

ARIEL also bolsters Canada’s knowledge economy. A training ground for scientists, engineers, technicians, students, tradespeople, and other professionals, ARIEL is developing a highly skilled stream of talent and provide career-long professional development across a variety of fields.

Research services
  • Rare isotope beams of short-lived nuclei for research in nuclear physics, quantum materials, biomolecules, and medical isotope development
  • Engineering services and technical expertise for accelerator technologies, high-power targets, mass separators, ion-traps, lasers, gamma-ray, and particle detectors
Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized Lab



520 MeV Cyclotron

Proton cyclotron (520 MeV, 400 muA)

World’s largest conventional cyclotron with H-ion source and multi-beam extraction. High-power proton beam delivery to multiple programs including two beamlines for RIB production in ARIEL/ISAC.


Superconducting electron linear accelerator (30 MeV, 100kW)

The electron linear accelerator provides an additional technique for creating rare isotopes, photon-induced fission.

Rare Isotope Beam (RIB) production and delivery facilities

High-power target stations, medical isotope production station, high resolution separators, EBIS charge breeder, linear accelerators

Multi-user rare isotope production and beam delivery facilities, low-energy beams to energies of up to 15 MeV per nucleon.

Gamma Ray Infrastructure For Fundamental Investigations of Nuclei (GRIFFIN)

High-purity germanium clover detectors (16) coupled to a fully digital data acquisition system

The world’s most powerful tool for the decay spectroscopy of rare isotopes.

ISAC Charged Particle Reaction Spectroscopy Station (IRIS)

Charged particle reaction spectroscopy station

Uses short-lived isotopes to study exotic nuclei and mimic the nuclear reactions that occur in stellar explosions..

TRIUMF’s Ion Trap for Atomic and Nuclear (TITAN)

A radio frequency buncher and cooler, an electron beam ion trap, a Penning trap and Penning cooler trap

One of the most precise tools for measuring the mass of an atom with highly charged rare isotopes.

TRIUMF-ISAC Gamma Ray Escape Suppressed Spectrometer (TIGRESS)

High-purity germanium clover detector array

For in-beam gamma ray spectroscopy. Experiments are enabled by the ISAC-II superconducting linear accelerator and involve smashing isotopes to energize the nuclei and probe structure through detecting emitted gamma rays.

Beta-detected Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (BetaNMR)

Isotope laser polarizer and beta detected NMR end stations

The magnetic moment of a nucleus acts as a sensitive probe of the local magnetic and electronic environment.

Electromagnetic Mass Analyzer (EMMA)

A foil target, quadrupole doublets, Electrostatic deflectors, dipole magnets, PGAC detector electronics

A tool designed to separate the heavy products of nuclear reactions (the recoils) from the beam that induces them.

Francium Trapping Facility

Faraday Room, transition vacuum system, zirconium capture foil, magneto-optical trap, titanium:sapphire tunable lasers

Captures an ultra-precise fingerprint of atomic weak force symmetry breaking and potential beyond Standard Model physics.

The TRIUMF Neutral Atom Trap (TRINAT)

Tabletop-sized experimental facility using state-of-the-art laser trapping and cooling technology

Lasers used to create pen-tip-sized cluster of almost perfectly still beta-decaying atoms suspended in a vacuum chamber.

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