Title: In-SEM Raman microspectroscopy coupled with EDX – a case study of uranium reference particles
Citation: ANALYST vol. 139 no. 3 p. 668-675
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC83852
ISSN: 0003-2654
URI: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2014/AN/c3an01872e#!divAbstract
DOI: 10.1039/c3an01872e
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Information about the molecular composition of airborne uranium-bearing particles may be useful as an additional tool for nuclear safeguards. In order to combine the detection of micrometer-sized particles with the analysis of their molecular forms, we used a hybrid system enabling Raman microanalysis in high vacuum inside a SEM chamber (SEM-SCA system). The first step involved an automatic scan of a sample to detect and save coordinates of uranium particles, along with X-ray microanalysis. In the second phase, the detected particles were relocated in a white light image and subjected to Raman microanalysis. The consecutive measurements by the two beams showed exceptional fragility of uranium particles, leading to their ultimate damage and change of uranium oxidation state. We used uranium reference particles prepared by hydrolysis of uranium hexafluoride to test the reliability of the Raman measurements inside the high vacuum. The results achieved by the hybrid system were verified by using a standalone Raman microspectrometer. When deposited on exceptionally smooth substrates, uranyl fluoride particles smaller than 1000 nm could successfully be analyzed with the SEM-SCA system.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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