Fermilab postdoc wins IEEE Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award

Dr. Anna Grassellino of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has been awarded the Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Doctoral Student Award. Sponsored by the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, it is given to individuals who have performed outstanding thesis research in particle accelerator science and technology. Grassellino was chosen “for contributions to the fundamental understanding of the field dependent loss mechanisms in SRF cavities.”

Grassellino is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Fermilab, working in the SRF development department in the Technical Division. Anna completed a Bachelor and Master degree in Electronic Engineering from University of Pisa, a Master degree in physics and a PhD in physics from University of Pennsylvania.

Her thesis work was performed at TRIUMF under the guidance of Prof. Nigel Lockyer and Bob Laxdal. The thesis mainly focused on understanding the mechanisms of field dependent losses in superconducting RF niobium cavities.

By coupling for the first time cavity RF measurements with an advanced technique for detecting magnetic fields in matter called muon spin rotation, Grassellino and her colleagues at TRIUMF discovered a strong correlation between magnetic flux entry in cavity cutouts samples and the onset of high field RF losses in cavities. The findings have shed light on the role of magnetic flux entry and of surface pinning in the RF losses phenomenon known as High Field Q-slope.

Her current research focuses on increasing the quality factors of SRF cavities, an important issue for CW or long duty factors accelerators. Her recent findings at Fermilab include new surface treatments based on doping of the RF surface with interstitials, which have demonstrated to triple the efficiency of SRF niobium resonators.