Rutherford Backscattering (RBS) is useful in determining the elemental composition and thickness of a thin target (<50 um) while not destroying the target. This allows the confirmation of sample characteristics for other experiments, such as those for medical isotope reactions or for testing new sample creation methods. This method has been performed on a limited number of in-house samples but will likely become more available to other Notre Dame groups.
The methods used for RBS involve an alpha beam between 2-4 MeV and directed onto samples loaded into a vacuum scattering chamber. To collect the back-scattered alphas, a silicon surface barrier detector is placed at a backward scattering angle inside the scattering chamber.