Polarized target for CLAS12

JLab Target Group

Jefferson Lab's Target Group is responsible for the design, construction, and operation of most of the targets used in Jefferson Lab's four experimental halls.  These include large "cryotargets" of liquid hydrogen, some capable of dissipating hundreds of watts from the electron beam with little or no discernable boiling.  We are also experts in the field of dynamically polarized solid targets, which operate in extremely high magnetic fields and at temperatures less than a degree above absolute zero.  


Tritium-style target cell

A suite of experiments in Hall A are currently using the first-ever tritium target at Jefferson Lab. Tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen gas, is contained in a specially designed cell of aluminum and cooled to approximately 40 K. The experiments also utilize three similar target cells filled with hydrogen, deuterium, and helium-three gases.

3D model of the CLAS12 polarized target

The JLab Target Group is developing a new, dynamically polarized target of protons and deuterons for the CLAS12 detector system in Hall B. The target is designed to operate at a temperature one degree above absolute zero and in a magnetic field of 5 tesla. This project is in collaboration with Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion University, and the University of Virginia.

Hall C cryotarget cells

Experiments in Hall C are utilizing one of Jefferson Lab's two high-power cryotarget systems. Each system comprises up to three cryogenic fluids circulating between thin-walled aluminum containers (target cells) and helium-cooled heat exchangers that remove the heat generated when JLab's electron beam interacts with the fluid in the target cell. Close to one kilowatt of beam heat can be removed from the fluid with little to no boiling. The Hall C experiments are currently using targets of liquid hydrogen and deuterium. The cryotargets also include a wide array of thin, solid foils for background and other ancillary measurements.

The GlueX liquid hydrogen target

The GlueX experiment in Hall D uses a much smaller target of liquid hydrogen. Because the Hall D beam of tagged photons generate little heat in the target liquid, the JLab Target Group designed and constructed a compact system for condensing liquid hydrogen into a 30 cm long target cell made of thin, polyimide film. The target, which uses a pulse-tube cryocooler to condense hydrogen gas into liquid, operates independently of JLab's vast cryogenic facilities, and requires very little user intervention.