The LNGS Accelerator Service

  • coordinates the technical and scientific activities related to the infrastructures operating the LNGS accelerators
  • interacts with research groups interested in conducting activities at LNGS accelerators in order to ensure the full success of the proposed research activities
  • identifies maintenance and development plans for the LNGS accelerator-related infrastructures
  • communicates and interacts directly with the Scientific Committee of the National Laboratories of Gran Sasso in order to guarantee the correct programming of research activities programming of research activities
  • promotes the activities of the infrastructures by highlighting the technical and scientific potential of the accelerators present in the laboratory

The underground laboratories of LNGS host LUNA-400, an electrostatic Singletron TMaccelerator constructed by High Voltage Engineering, The Netherlands in year 2000. The machine can deliver proton and He beams with beam energies between 50 and 400 keV. It features excellent beam energy calibration and a low energy spread of the accelerated ion beam [1].

LUNA-400 is equipped with two target stations. Since 2001, the operation of LUNA-400 has been the work horse of the successful research program of the LUNA collaboration [2]

Beam specifications of the LUNA—400 SingletronTM accelerator

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At present an additional accelerator named LUNA-MV [3] is under construction inside the underground laboratories of LNGS. This investment has been funded by the Italian Ministry for Research in the context of a “Progetto Premiale”, which INFN has obtained with the contribution of the LUNA Collaboration.

Like LUNA-400, LUNA-MV is a SingletronTM type accelerator supplied by High Voltage Engineering and as such features excellent beam energy calibration and low energy dissipation of the accelerated ion beam [3].

Before being transferred to the Gran Sasso Laboratories, LUNA-MV underwent acceptance tests at the manufacturer's factory. In this context it as been shown that LUNA-MV can produce, as requested, proton, helium-4 and carbon beams in the beam energy range between 350 keV and 3.5MeV (7 MeV for carbon).

Beam specifications of the LUNA-MV SingletronTM accelerator as achieved during acceptance tests at the factory of High Voltage Engineering Europe, The Netherlands


Staff of the LNGS Accelerator Service
Matthias Junker (head of service)
Donatello Ciccotti
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[1] The LUNA II accelerator, A. Formicola, G. Imbriani, M. Junker et al, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 2003-07 DOI

[2] LUNA Collaboration Web Page:
List of paper published by the LUNA-Collaboration using the LUNA-400 accelerator (web link to

[3] A high intensity, high stability 3.5 MV Singletron™ accelerator, A. Sen , G. Domínguez-
Cañizares, N.C. Podaru, .J.W. Mous, M. Junker , G. Imbriani, V. Rigato; Nuclear Instruments and
Methods in Physics Research Section B 2019; DOI: