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Title: Uniform deposition of uranium hexafluoride (UF6): Standardized mass deposits and controlled isotopic ratios using a thermal fluorination method

Abstract: We report a convenient method for the generation of volatile uranium hexafluoride (UF6) from solid uranium oxides and other uranium compounds, followed by uniform deposition of low levels of UF6 onto sampling coupons. Under laminar flow conditions, UF6 is shown to interact with surfaces within the chamber to a highly predictable degree. We demonstrate the preparation of uranium deposits that range between ~0.01 and 470±34 ng∙cm-2. The data suggest the method can be extended to creating depositions at the sub-picogram∙cm-2 level. Additionally, the isotopic composition of the deposits can be customized by selection of the uranium source materials. We demonstrate a layering technique whereby two uranium solids, each with a different isotopic composition, are employed to form successive layers of UF6 on a surface. The result is an ultra-thin deposit of UF6 that bears an isotopic signature that is a composite of the two uranium sources. The reported deposition method has direct application to the development of unique analytical standards for nuclear safeguards and forensics.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Talanta, 154:219-227
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
uranium oxide; uranium hexafluoride; thermo gravimetric; fluorination; nitrogen trifluoride