Separation Chemistry and Target Preparation for Nuclear Chemistry Experiments

Session Organizer:
Heinz W. Gaeggeler, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland

Heaviest element research requires access to exotic target nuclides such as e.g. 244Pu or 248Cm. Such transuranic nuclides are produced at the High Flux Reactor (HIFR) in Oak Ridge. Radiochemical procedures are required to isolate the desired elements in macro amounts from the breeded material, followed by an electrochemical plating procedure to prepare targets that withstand high energy and high intensity heavy ion bombardments over extended beam times of up to several months.

After synthesis of exotic heaviest elements fast and continuous chemical separation techniques are required to isolate the wanted products in very short time from usually also formed large amounts of unwanted elements. Such procedures have to be operated remotely and continuously. Two techniques are usually used: gas phase and liquid phase separations with set-ups named OLGA, ARCA, AIDA or SISAK. Finally, separated products have to be subjected to a detector array which is able to identify nuclides on the single-atom level.


Heavy Element Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Julie Ezold, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States