Andrea Fontana

Andrea Fontana
INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare | INFN · Pavia

PhD in Physics

About

239
Publications
19,470
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Introduction
INFN researcher expert in numerical modeling, montecarlo simulation and data analysis.

Publications

Publications (239)
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we show the design of a silicon photonic-based polarization converting device based on the integration of semiconduction InP nanowires on the silicon photonic platform. We present a comprehensive numerical analysis showing that full polarization conversion (from quasi-TE modes to quasi-TM modes, and vice versa) can be achieved in devi...
Preprint
Background: Recently, the reaction $^{nat}$V($\alpha$,x)$^{52g}$Mn has been proposed as a possible alternative to the standard $^{nat}$Cr($p$,x)$^{52g}$Mn one, but improvements in the modeling were needed to better compare the two production routes. Purpose: This work focuses on the development of precise simulations and models to compare the $^{52...
Article
Full-text available
The 52g Mn radionuclide is suitable for the innovative MultiModal Imaging technique, and in particular for a PET/MRI scan, due to its physical properties. The standard cyclotron-based production of 52g Mn relies on the nuclear reaction Nat Cr(p,x) 52g Mn, but we have investigated theoretically the possibility of an alternative and competitive route...
Article
Full-text available
The proton-induced reaction on natural vanadium targets is studied for the production of the innovative theranostic radionuclide ⁴⁷ Sc as well as of its contaminants, mainly ⁴⁶ Sc. The theoretical excitation functions are calculated using the nuclear reaction code TALYS and are compared with the most recent experimental data. A better agreement bet...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, scandium-47 has attracted attention in the scientific community thanks to its promising features, making it suitable for targeted radiotherapy and theranostic applications, also in combination with the β ⁺ emitters ⁴³ Sc/ ⁴⁴ Sc. However, in view of possible pre-clinical and clinical studies, finding efficient production routes is still a...
Article
Full-text available
New data for the natV(p,x) reactions have been measured in the range 26–70 MeV, with production of the nuclides Sc47, Sc43, 44mSc, 44gSc, Sc46, Sc48, K42, K43, V48, Cr48, Cr49, and Cr51. The focus is on the production of Sc47, a β− emitter suitable for innovative radiotheranostic applications in nuclear medicine. The measured cross sections for thi...
Preprint
New data for the $^\mbox{nat}$V(p,x) reactions have been measured in the range 26-70 MeV, with production of the nuclides $^{47}$Sc, $^{43}$Sc, $^{44m}$Sc, $^{44g}$Sc, $^{46}$Sc, $^{48}$Sc, $^{42}$K, $^{43}$K, $^{48}$V, $^{48}$Cr, $^{49}$Cr, and $^{51}$Cr. The focus is on the production of $^{47}$Sc, a $\beta^-$-emitter suitable for innovative radi...
Article
A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10967-021-07791-z
Article
Predation is a strong driver for the evolution of prey behaviour. To properly assess the actual risk of predation, anuran tadpoles mostly rely on water-borne chemical cues, and their ability to evaluate environmental information is even more crucial when potential predators consist of unknown alien species. Behavioural plasticity, that is the capac...
Preprint
Radioisotope $^{52g}$Mn is of special interest for multimodal imaging. Using state-of-art nuclear reaction codes, we study the alternative nuclear reaction route $^{nat}$V($\alpha$,x)$^{52g}$Mn in comparison with the standard production routes based upon the use of chromium targets. The integral yields of $^{52g}$Mn and contaminants have been evalu...
Article
In this work, we review the theory of nuclear reactions induced by charged particles at cyclotrons and we show in a pedagogical way how to perform a reaction yield calculation in a realistic irradiation case. The topic is currently of great interest in the field of radioisotope production for medical applications, in which an international effort i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Radioisotope 52g Mn is of special interest for multimodal imaging (PET/MRI) applications and the main production route is based on proton/deuteron beams on Chromium (natural/enriched) targets. Using state-of-art nuclear reaction codes (Talys, Empire and Fluka), we perform a comparative study with the alternative 52g Mn production with th...
Preprint
MultiModal Imaging is an innovative technique that consists in the combination of diagnostic exams based on different physical processes, to obtain a unique image with more detailed clinical information. The possibility of a simultaneous use of PET and MRI could be achieved by using a particular radioisotope: 52gMn. The main route to produce this i...
Preprint
We have introduced a tool to describe in a simple and efficient way the outcomes of known nuclear reaction codes. It differs from the customary use where typically a specific single model is selected and the remaining disregarded. The use of simple statistical procedures allows to introduce a more general theoretical evaluation with quantitative un...
Article
This work deals with the new cross section data obtained for the natV(p,x)43Sc nuclear reaction. We focus on this specific channel because we found a significant discrepancy with a recent NIM B publication, reporting extensive data on activation cross-sections induced by proton-Vanadium collisions up to 65 MeV. Proton-irradiation and -spectrometry...
Article
Full-text available
From the experimental point of view, very little is known about the gravitational interaction between matter and antimatter. In particular, the Weak Equivalence Principle, which is of paramount importance for the General Relativity, has not yet been directly probed with antimatter. The main goal of the AEgIS experiment at CERN is to perform a direc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Forming a pulsed beam of cold antihydrogen using charge-exchange with Rydberg positronium (Ps) is the goal of the AEḡIS collaboration, which aims to a first gravity measurement on neutral antimatter. Recently achieved results in Ps formation and laser spectroscopy in the main AEḡIS apparatus are summarized. First, Ps has been produced using nanocha...
Article
Full-text available
The 3³P state of positronium is an intermediate level suitable for producing long-lived positronium states. On one hand, it can be used in a two-step laser excitation scheme from the ground state to Rydberg levels. On the other hand, excitation of positronium to 3³P level is a simple pathway for producing metastable 2³S positronium atoms by spontan...
Article
67Cu, 186Re and 47Sc are theranostic radionuclides in the spot-light of the scientific community: the insufficient availability is limiting their use in clinical and pre-clinical studies. The aim of this work is the analysis of 47Sc production by using high-energy and high-intensity cyclotrons, as the one installed at INFN-LNL in the framework of S...
Article
This correction provides updated acknowledgements: This work was supported by Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare; the Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Grant (No. 154833); a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft research grant; an excellence initiative of Heidelberg University; Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network Fellowship of...
Article
Full-text available
AE g ¯ IS (Antimatter Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy) is a CERN based experiment aiming to probe the Weak Equivalence Principle of General Relativity with antimatter by studying free fall of antihydrogen in the Earth’s gravitational field. A pulsed cold beam of antihydrogen produced by charge exchange between Rydberg positronium...
Article
The goal of PASTA project (acronym for production with accelerator of ⁴⁷Sc for theranostic applications) is the determination of excitation functions associated to several nuclear reactions, aimed at yielding the theranostic radionuclide ⁴⁷Sc. This work reports the main results obtained by irradiating natural vanadium targets with proton beams up t...
Article
We utilize various nuclear reaction codes with the aim to guide, interpret, and support the experiments in the proton-induced production measurements of radionuclides for the development of innovative radio-pharmaceuticals. The understanding of reaction cross sections at low-intermediate energies is crucial in this context and requires the knowledg...
Article
Full-text available
The AEgIS experiment aims at producing antihydrogen (and eventually measuring the effects of the Earth gravitational field on it) with a method based on the charge exchange reaction between antiproton and Rydberg positronium. To be precise, antiprotons are delivered by the CERN Antiproton Decelerator (AD) and are trapped in a multi-ring Penning tra...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A selection of recent improvements in the modeling of nuclear interactions with the FLUKA code is presented. At low energy the new features are related to the emission of secondary particles, to the inclusion of spin-parity effects in the evaporation stage and to the extension of the pre-equilibrium step to the Relativistic Quantum Molecular Dynami...
Poster
Full-text available
Picchi di Bragg Le stampe tridimensionali, ottenute con tecnica stereolitografica, rappresentano l'energia depositata in un bersaglio di acqua da parte di radiazione di diverso tipo: la presenza del picco di Bragg alla fine del percorso dimostra il vantaggio dell' adroterapia rispetto alla radioterapia, indicando un maggiore rilascio di energia nel...
Article
Full-text available
We report on recent developments in positronium work in the frame of antihydrogen production through charge exchange in the AEgIS collaboration [1]. In particular, we present a new technique based on spatially imaging a cloud of positronium by collecting the positrons emitted by photoionization. This background free diagnostic proves to be highly e...
Preprint
Positronium in the 23S metastable state exhibits a low electrical polarizability and a long lifetime (1140 ns) making it a promising candidate for interferometry experiments with a neutral matter-antimatter system. In the present work, 23S positronium is produced via spontaneous radiative decay from the 33P level populated with a 205 nm UV laser pu...
Article
Full-text available
Producing positronium (Ps) in the metastable 23S state is of interest for various applications in fundamental physics. We report here on an experiment in which Ps atoms are produced in this long-lived state by spontaneous radiative decay of Ps excited to the 33P level manifold. The Ps cloud excitation is obtained with a UV laser pulse in an experim...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of antimatter are important for understanding our universe at a fundamental level. There are still unsolved problems, such as the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe. The AEgIS experiment at CERN aims at measuring the gravitational fall of antihydrogen in order to determine the gravitational force on antimatter. The proposed method...
Article
The cross sections of the 68Zn(p,2p)67Cu,68Zn(p,2n)67Ga and 68Zn(p,3n)66Ga reactions were measured at the ARRONAX facility by using the 70 MeV cyclotron, with particular attention to the production of the theranostic radionuclide 67Cu. Enriched 68Zn material was electroplated on silver backing and exposed to alow-intensity proton beam by using the...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a multi-step “rotating wall” compression of a mixed cold antiproton–electron non-neutral plasma in a 4.46 T Penning–Malmberg trap developed in the context of the AEḡIS experiment at CERN. Such traps are routinely used for the preparation of cold antiprotons suitable for antihydrogen production. A tenfold antiproton radius compression ha...
Article
The efficient production of cold antihydrogen atoms in particle traps at CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator has opened up the possibility of performing direct measurements of the Earth’s gravitational acceleration on purely antimatter bodies. The goal of the AEgIS collaboration is to measure the value of g for antimatter using a pulsed source of cold an...
Article
Producing positronium (Ps) in the metastable $2^3\text{S}$ state is of interest for various applications in fundamental physics. We report here about an experiment in which Ps atoms are produced in this long-lived state by spontaneous radiative decay of Ps excited to the $3^3\text{P}$ level manifold. The Ps cloud excitation is obtained with a UV la...
Article
Full-text available
The AEgIS (Antimatter Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy) is a CERN based experiment with the central aim to measure directly the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen. Antihydrogen atoms will be produced via charge exchange reactions which will consist of Rydberg-excited positronium atoms sent to cooled antiprotons within an el...
Article
Full-text available
The validity of the Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP) as predicted by General Relativity has been tested up to astounding precision using ordinary matter. The lack hitherto of a stable source of a probe being at the same time electrically neutral, cold and stable enough to be measured has prevented highaccuracy testing of the WEP on anti-matter. The...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of exotic states of matter in neutron stars (NSs) is currently an open issue in physics. The appearance of muons, kaons, hyperons, and other exotic particles in the inner regions of the NS, favored by energetic considerations, is considered to be an effective mechanism to soften the equation of state (EoS). In the so-called two-familie...
Article
Full-text available
The primary goal of the Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEGIS) collaboration is to measure for the first time precisely the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen, Hbar , a fundamental issue of contemporary physics, using a beam of antiatoms. Indeed, although indirect arguments have been raised against a differen...
Article
The production of innovative radionuclides in the context of theranostics is currently a topic of great interest. Various INFN projects are underway in search of new data and new techniques for radionuclides production. Among the possible channels under study, recent developments indicate ⁶⁷Cu and ⁴⁷Sc as good candidates competitive with more tradi...
Article
The accurate evaluation of the dose distribution is an open issue in Hadrontherapy. MONET (MOdel of ioN dosE for Therapy) is a code for the computation of the 3D dose distribution for protons in water. The model accounts for all the interactions and is benchmarked with the FLUKA code, that is already validated for protons and Helium beams in water,...
Article
Monte Carlo codes are increasingly spreading in medical physics community due to their capability of performing a detailed description of radiation transport and interaction with matter. This contribution will address the recent developments of the FLUKA code and its practical application in medical physics. FLUKA is being used in radiation therapy...
Article
Full-text available
In the sociology of small- to mid-sized (O(100) collaborators) experiments the issue of data collection and storage is sometimes felt as a residual problem for which well-established solutions are known. Still, the DAQ system can be one of the few forces that drive towards the integration of otherwise loosely coupled detector systems. As such it ma...
Article
In this work a characterization study of forward emission from a thin, meso-structured silica positron/positronium (Ps) converter following implantation of positrons in light of possible antihydrogen production is presented. The target consisted of a ∼1 μm thick ultraporous silica film e-gun evaporated onto a 20 nm carbon foil. The Ps formation and...
Article
We consider the evaluation of lateral spread distributions of charged particle beams at therapeutic energies, due to an absorber in the form of a homogeneous slab or of a stack. We show that the Molière theory has the same degree of flexibility as the Fermi–Eyges, but is much more accurate and does not present particular computing difficulties with...
Article
Purpose We investigate the possibility to improve the accuracy of the lateral dose profile for beams with a novel approach, by extending an already validated model for proton beams to heavier ions. Methods The full Molière theory for the Coulomb multiple scattering is applied to the case of beams, with a complete separation of the electromagnetic...
Article
Purpose: The accurate and fast calculation of the dose in proton radiation therapy is an essential ingredient for successful treatments. We propose a novel approach with a minimal number of parameters. Methods: The approach is based on the exact calculation of the electromagnetic part of the interaction, namely the Molière theory of the multiple...
Article
Production of antihydrogen by using the charge exchange reaction, as proposed by AEgIS (Antimatter Experiment: gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy), requires the formation of a dense cloud of positronium atoms excited to Rydberg states. In this work, the recent advances in AEgIS towards this result are described. Namely, the manipulation of posit...
Article
Full-text available
The characteristics of the process of low energy antiproton annihilation on nuclei (e.g. hadronization and product multiplicities) are not well known, and Monte Carlo simulation packages that use different models provide different descriptions of the annihilation events. In this study, we measured the particle multiplicities resulting from antiprot...
Article
Full-text available
The AEgIS (Antimatter Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy) experiment is designed with the objective to test the weak equivalence principle with antimatter by studying the free fall of antihydrogen in the Earth's gravitational field. A pulsed cold beam of antihydrogen will be produced by charge exchange between cold Ps excited in Rydb...
Article
Positronium (Ps), the unstable bound state of electron and positron, is a valuable system for neutral antimatter spectroscopic studies and for antihydrogen production. Forming a pulsed beam cold antihydrogen using charge-exchange with the Rydberg Ps is the goal of the AEgIS Collaboration, which aims to measure gravity on neutral antimatter. Recent...
Article
Full-text available
We demonstrate the laser excitation of the n=3 state of positronium (Ps) in vacuum. A combination of a specially designed pulsed slow positron beam and a high-efficiency converter target was used to produce Ps. Its annihilation was recorded by single-shot positronium annihilation lifetime spectroscopy. Pulsed laser excitation of the n=3 level at a...
Article
We present here the first results obtained employing the Timepix3 for the detection and tagging of annihilations of low energy antiprotons. The Timepix3 is a recently developed hybrid pixel detector with advanced Time-of-Arrival and Time-over-Threshold capabilities and has the potential of allowing precise kinetic energy measurements of low energy...
Presentation
Implementation of an analytical solution to lateral dose prediction in a proton therapy treatment planning system ICTR-PHE 2016
Article
A pencil beam model for the calculation of the lateral scattering in water of protons for any therapeutic energy and depth is presented. It is based on the full Molière theory, taking into account the energy loss and the effects of mixtures and compounds. Concerning the electromagnetic part, the model has no free parameters and is in very good agre...
Article
Full-text available
The present status of the AEGIS experiment at CERN (AD-06), on the way of forming anti-hydrogen for a first gravity measurement, is reviewed. Recent results in trapping and cooling positrons and antiprotons in the main electromagnetic traps are presented, including the storage time measurement obtained during the 2014 run with antiprotons, the obse...
Article
Full-text available
The weak equivalence principle states that the motion of a body in a gravitational field is independent of its structure or composition. This postulate of general relativity has been tested to very high precision with ordinary matter, but no relevant experimental verification with antimatter has ever been carried out. The AEGIS experiment will meas...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a system designed to re-bunch positron pulses delivered by an accumulator supplied by a positron source and a Surko-trap. Positron pulses from the accumulator are magnetically guided in a 0.085 T field and are injected into a region free of magnetic fields through a μ-metal field terminator. Here positrons are temporally compressed, ele...
Article
Full-text available
An experimental study of the $K^-_{stop}A\rightarrow \Sigma^- p A'$ reaction on $A=^6$Li, $^7$Li, $^9$Be, $^{13}$C and $^{16}$O $p$-shell nuclei is presented. The data were collected by the FINUDA spectrometer operating at the DA$\Phi$NE $\phi$-factory (LNF-INFN, Italy). Emission rates for the reaction in the mentioned nuclei are measured and compa...
Article
Full-text available
The AEgIS experiment at CERN aims to perform the first direct measurement of gravitational interaction between matter and antimatter by measuring the deviation of a cold antihydrogen beam in the Earth gravitational field. The design of the experiment has been recently updated to include emulsion films as position sensitive detector. The submicromet...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the AEgIS experiment is to measure the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen - the simplest atom consisting entirely of antimatter - with the ultimate precision of 1%. We plan to verify the Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP), one of the fundamental laws of nature, with an antimatter beam. The experiment consists of a positron accumul...
Article
The accurate evaluation of the lateral dose profile is an important issue in the field of proton radiation therapy. The beam spread, due to Multiple Coulomb Scattering (MCS), is described by the Molière's theory. To take into account also the contribution of nuclear interactions, modern Treatment Planning Systems (TPSs) generally approximate the do...
Article
Full-text available
The AEgIS experiment aims at performing the first test of the Weak Equivalence Principle of General Relativity in the antimatter sector by measuring the gravitational acceleration acting on a beam of cold antihydrogen to a precision of 1%. The installation of the apparatus is making good progress and large parts were taken into operation. Parasitic...
Article
Full-text available
Investigations on antimatter allow us to shed light on fundamental issues of contemporary physics. The only antiatom presently available, antihydrogen, is produced making use of the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) facility at CERN. International collaborations currently on the floor (ALPHA, ASACUSA and ATRAP) have succeeded in producing antihydrogen an...