CERN Accelerating science

European Organization for Nuclear Research

High Frequency Compact Linear Proton Accelerator


As part of the Medical Applications Programme at CERN, a novel very compact radio-frequency quadrupole (RFQ) linear accelerator has been designed. Operating at a frequency of 750 MHz and having adapted beam optics, this RFQ can reach an energy of 5 MeV over a distance of 2 m. It is a suitable alternative to cyclotrons for use in medical applications, for example as an injector for higher energy linacs or as a standalone accelerator for radioisotope production.

Area of expertise

Cryogenic Technology


  • Linac-based proton therapy facilities
  • PET isotope production
  • Technetium production for SPECT tomography
  • Brachytherapy
  • Material analysis


  • Modular, permitting cascading of several RFQ modules and integration into larger accelerating structure
  • Very compact
  • No shielding required

Intellectual Property status

Patented; available for licensing

Technology Readiness Level

First prototype is being manufactured. Beam tests scheduled for 2016.




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