First irradiation for the production of Cu-67 within the SPES project.

May 2024: SPES Phase 1 completed

After a period of maintenance and repair of various components of the cyclotron, including the refurbishment of the ion source and the RF amplifiers, the first proton beams were produced and delivered to experimental study of medical radioisotope production. After the optimization of the new transport line recently installed at the Legnaro National Laboratories, the cyclotron was optimized for three different proton energies: 35 MeV, 50 MeV and 70 MeV. After each optimization the proton beam was used to irradiate thin targets of different materials. In particular, the image shows the gamma spectrum of a natural Zn target irradiated at an energy of 50 MeV, which allowed the observation of the gamma-decay of the theranostic radionuclide Cu-67 (see picture: First irradiation for the production of Cu-67 within the SPES project).

With the achievement of this important milestone, the Phase 1 of the SPES project is successfully completed. This has been made possible in a relatively short time thanks to the phased approach for the project implementation and the full commitment of all the laboratory’s divisions.