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Usually, all radionuclides applied in molecular imaging have to be produced at an accelerator.

The cyclotron is a circular accelerator, which accelerates charged particles to high energies (up to 16 MeV).

The operating principle of the cyclotron is based on the electro-magnetic acceleration of charged particles, like ions of hydrogen, deuterium (“heavy hydrogen”) or helium. The charged particles are accelerated outwards on a spiral path by a rapidly alternating electrical field. After reaching the critical radius the accelerated particles are extracted from the cyclotron and directed onto a target to induce the desired nuclear reaction.

At INM-5 it is possible to irradiate solid, liquid and gas targets using the babycyclotron BC 1710 and a GE PETtrace. In collaboration with the Institute of Nuclear Physics it is additionally possible to irradiate solid targets with protons (45 MeV) and deuterons (78 MeV) from the injector cyclotron (JULIC) of the COSY storage ring. Recently a high performance cyclotron from IBA was acquired which will be in operation in 2018.