The McMaster Intense Positron Beam Facility (MIPBF) is an anti-matter beam facility that is to be installed on one of the beam ports at the nuclear reactor. The MIPBF is a collaborative project led by Dr. Peter Mascher of the Engineering Physics Department that involves several McMaster researchers, MNR staff members, numerous external research partners and collaborators, as well as funding agencies including the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation. When complete, the MIPBF will be one of only four reactor-based positron production facilities in the world, and will give Canadian researchers access to positron diagnostic techniques previously available only in Europe. The facility will contain three experimental stations: a Surface Analysis System for examining surfaces and thin films by techniques such as Positron Annihilation Auger Electron Spectroscopy; a Positron Defect Probe for characterizing surface and near-surface defects in solids using methods such as Positron Lifetime Spectroscopy; and a Positron Storage and Interaction System which will permit fundamental research into the nature of the interactions of antimatter with surfaces, near-surfaces of solids, and gases.
In March 2017, researchers at York University completed fabrication of the positron beam-tube and transported it to MNR, where it was assembled, fitted with custom shielding blocks, and installed at the designated beam port. A proof-of-principle experiment confirmed that positrons can be generated and stabilized within the beam-tube, making them available for researchers. The MIPBF team will use this test data to optimize the beam-tube components prior to its permanent installation at MNR in 2018