Title: Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry of Ion Beam Sputtered Neutrals for Element- and Isotope- selective Analysis of Plutonium in Micro-particles
Citation: ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY vol. 395 no. 6 p. 1911-1918
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC54207
ISSN: 1618-2642
URI: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k84456k0458084p6/
DOI: 10.1007/s00216-009-2906-6
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Micro-particles containing actinides are of interest for risk assessments of contaminated areas, nuclear forensic analyses, and IAEA as well as Euratom safeguards programs. For their analysis, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) has been established as the state-of-the-art standard technique. In the case of actinide mixtures within the particles, however, SIMS suffers from isobaric interferences (e.g., 238U/238Pu, 241Am/241Pu). This can be eliminated by applying resonance ionization mass spectrometry which is based on stepwise resonant excitation and ionization of atoms with laser light, followed by mass spectrometric detection of the produced ions, combining high elemental selectivity with the analysis of isotopic compositions. This paper describes the instrumental modifications for coupling a commercial time-of-flight (TOF)-SIMS apparatus with three-step resonant post-ionization of the sputtered neutrals using a high-repetition-rate (kHz) Nd:YAG laser pumped tunable titanium:sapphire laser system. Spatially resolved ion images obtained from actinide-containing particles in TOF-SIMS mode demonstrate the capability for isotopic and spatial resolution. Results from three-step resonant post-ionization of bulk Gd and Pu samples successfully demonstrate the high elemental selectivity of this process.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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