Title: An original approach for Raman spectroscopy analysis of radioactive materials and its application to americium-containing samples
Citation: JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY vol. 46 no. 9 p. 750-756
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC93151
ISSN: 0377-0486
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jrs.4716/abstract;jsessionid=3A29CAD2115F6931C8275DAA6147C5C5.f03t02
DOI: 10.1002/jrs.4716
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: An approach for Raman measurements of highly radioactive samples is presented here. The innovative part of this approach lies in the fact that no single part of the Raman equipment is in direct contact with the radioactive sample, as the sample is sealed in an alpha-tight capsule. Raman analysis is effectively performed through the optical-grade quartz window closing the capsule. This allows performing micro-Raman measurements on radioactive samples with no limitations on the laser source wavelength, polarisation mode, spectrometer mode and microscope mode (provided the focal length of the microscope objective is greater than the thickness of the quartz window and with sub mg samples). Some example results are shown and discussed. In particular, some spectral features of americium-containing oxide nuclear fuel specimens are presented. Raman spectra clearly reveal in these specimens the presence of abundant oxygen defects induced in the fcc fluorite lattice by trivalent americium. In order to complete the analysis the Raman spectrum of pure americium dioxide was also measured with a lower energy excitation source compared with previous research. The current results seem to be consistent with the possible occurrence of a photolysis process induced by the Raman laser, resulting in the formation of hyperstoichiometric americium sesquioxide Am2O3 + z. Such a photolytic process is deemed to be unavoidable when visible lasers are used as excitation sources for the Raman analysis of americium dioxide.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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