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Title: Improved sample utilization in thermal ionization mass spectrometry isotope ratio measurements: refined development of porous ion emitters for nuclear forensic applications

Abstract

The precise and accurate determination of isotopic composition in nuclear forensic samples is vital for assessing origin, intended use and process history. Thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) is widely accepted as the gold standard for high performance isotopic measurements and has long served as the workhorse in the isotopic ratio determination of nuclear materials. Nuclear forensic and safeguard specialists have relied heavily on such methods for both routine and atypical e orts. Despite widespread use, TIMS methods for the assay of actinide systems continue to be hindered by poor ionization e ciency, often less than tenths of a percent; the majority of a sample is not measured. This represents a growing challenge in addressing nextgeneration nuclear detection needs by limiting the ability to analyze ultratrace quantities of high priority elements that could potentially provide critical nuclear forensic signatures. Porous ion emitter (PIE) thermal ion sources were developed in response to the growing need for new TIMS ion source strategies for improved ionization e ciency, PIEs have proven to be simple to implement, straightforward approach to boosting ion yield. This work serves to expand the use of PIE techniques for the analysis of trace quantities of plutonium and americium. PIEs exhibitedmore » superior plutonium and americium ion yields when compared to direct lament loading and the resin bead technique, one of the most e cient methods for actinide analysis, at similar mass loading levels. Initial attempts at altering PIE composition for the analysis of plutonium proved to enhance sample utilization even further. Preliminary investigations of the instrumental fractionation behavior of plutonium and uranium analyzed via PIE methods were conducted. Data collected during these initial trial indicate that PIEs fractionate in a consistent, reproducible manner; a necessity for high precision isotope ratio measurements. Ultimately, PIEs methods were applied for the age determination of various uranium isotopic standards. PIEs did not exhibit signi cant advantages for the determination of model ages when compared to traditional laments; however, this trial was able to provide valuable insight for guiding future investigations.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1356166
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-23757
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Baruzzini, Matthew Louis. Improved sample utilization in thermal ionization mass spectrometry isotope ratio measurements: refined development of porous ion emitters for nuclear forensic applications. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1356166.
Baruzzini, Matthew Louis. Improved sample utilization in thermal ionization mass spectrometry isotope ratio measurements: refined development of porous ion emitters for nuclear forensic applications. United States. doi:10.2172/1356166.
Baruzzini, Matthew Louis. Mon . "Improved sample utilization in thermal ionization mass spectrometry isotope ratio measurements: refined development of porous ion emitters for nuclear forensic applications". United States. doi:10.2172/1356166. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356166.
@article{osti_1356166,
title = {Improved sample utilization in thermal ionization mass spectrometry isotope ratio measurements: refined development of porous ion emitters for nuclear forensic applications},
author = {Baruzzini, Matthew Louis},
abstractNote = {The precise and accurate determination of isotopic composition in nuclear forensic samples is vital for assessing origin, intended use and process history. Thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) is widely accepted as the gold standard for high performance isotopic measurements and has long served as the workhorse in the isotopic ratio determination of nuclear materials. Nuclear forensic and safeguard specialists have relied heavily on such methods for both routine and atypical e orts. Despite widespread use, TIMS methods for the assay of actinide systems continue to be hindered by poor ionization e ciency, often less than tenths of a percent; the majority of a sample is not measured. This represents a growing challenge in addressing nextgeneration nuclear detection needs by limiting the ability to analyze ultratrace quantities of high priority elements that could potentially provide critical nuclear forensic signatures. Porous ion emitter (PIE) thermal ion sources were developed in response to the growing need for new TIMS ion source strategies for improved ionization e ciency, PIEs have proven to be simple to implement, straightforward approach to boosting ion yield. This work serves to expand the use of PIE techniques for the analysis of trace quantities of plutonium and americium. PIEs exhibited superior plutonium and americium ion yields when compared to direct lament loading and the resin bead technique, one of the most e cient methods for actinide analysis, at similar mass loading levels. Initial attempts at altering PIE composition for the analysis of plutonium proved to enhance sample utilization even further. Preliminary investigations of the instrumental fractionation behavior of plutonium and uranium analyzed via PIE methods were conducted. Data collected during these initial trial indicate that PIEs fractionate in a consistent, reproducible manner; a necessity for high precision isotope ratio measurements. Ultimately, PIEs methods were applied for the age determination of various uranium isotopic standards. PIEs did not exhibit signi cant advantages for the determination of model ages when compared to traditional laments; however, this trial was able to provide valuable insight for guiding future investigations.},
doi = {10.2172/1356166},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 08 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon May 08 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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