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Title: Portable Hand-Held Electrochemical Sensor for the Transuranics

Abstract

During the four-year period of the grant all of the goals of the originally proposed work were achieved, and some additional accomplishments are here reported. Two types of sensors were designed and built in the lab, capable of detecting uranium, plutonium and thorium at the 10 part-per-trillion level. The basis of both sensor types is a specially designed polymer having selective binding sites for actinyl ions of the form MO{sub 2}{sup 2+}(aq), where M is any actinide in the +6 oxidation state. This binding site also traps ions of the form MO{sub 2}{sup +}(aq), where M is any actinide in the +4 oxidation state. In this way, the polymer is responsive to the two most common water-soluble ions of the actinide series. The chelating ring responsible for binding the actinyl ions was identified from the literature, calix[n]arene where n = 6. Several versions of this sensing polymer were coated on conductive substrates and demonstrated for actinide sensing. An optimized sensor was developed and is fully described in this report. It has a polymer bilayer, fabricated under the particular conditions given below. Two different operating modes were demonstrated having different capabilities. One is the chemFET mode (a FET is a fieldmore » effect transistor) and the other is the voltammetric mode. These two sensors give complementary information regarding the actinide species in a sample. Therefore our recommendation is that both be used together in a probe. A detailed design for such a probe has been filed as a patent application with the United States Patent Office, and is patent pending. The sensing polymer incorporating this actinyl-chelating ring was tested under a variety of conditions and the operating limits were determined. A full factorial experiment testing the polymerization method was conducted to optimize performance and characteristics of this polymer. The actinyl-sensing polymer was also deposited on the gate of a field effect transistor (FET) and demonstrated as a sensitive detector for uranium. Millimeter scale electrodes, operated by a hand-held instrument assembled in this lab and operated in the voltammetric mode, were transported to the DOE-Nevada test site (Las Vegas, NV) where field detection and quantitation of plutonium, uranium, and a mixture of these two elements was also demonstrated. Several probe designs were prepared, built and tested including probes with movable protective windows. A miniature, battery powered potentiostat was designed, built and demonstrated for use in a hand-held field portable instrument. This work was performed largely by undergraduates who gained valuable research experience, and many of them have continued on to graduate schools. In addition, they all gained exposure to and appreciation for national security research, in particular non-proliferation research. Four graduate students participated and one earned the MS degree on this project.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Boise State University Department of Chemistry
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
861664
Report Number(s):
DOE/ID/14223
TRN: US200710%%257
DOE Contract Number:  
FG07-01ID14223
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; ACTINIDES; DETECTION; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; ELECTRODES; FIELD EFFECT TRANSISTORS; MIXTURES; NATIONAL SECURITY; PLUTONIUM; POLYMERIZATION; POLYMERS; POTENTIOSTATS; PROBES; PROLIFERATION; SUBSTRATES; TESTING; THORIUM; URANIUM; VALENCE; WINDOWS

Citation Formats

Dale D. Russell, William B. Knowlton, Ph.D., and Russel Hertzog, Ph.D. Portable Hand-Held Electrochemical Sensor for the Transuranics. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/861664.
Dale D. Russell, William B. Knowlton, Ph.D., & Russel Hertzog, Ph.D. Portable Hand-Held Electrochemical Sensor for the Transuranics. United States. doi:10.2172/861664.
Dale D. Russell, William B. Knowlton, Ph.D., and Russel Hertzog, Ph.D. Fri . "Portable Hand-Held Electrochemical Sensor for the Transuranics". United States. doi:10.2172/861664. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/861664.
@article{osti_861664,
title = {Portable Hand-Held Electrochemical Sensor for the Transuranics},
author = {Dale D. Russell, William B. Knowlton, Ph.D. and Russel Hertzog, Ph.D},
abstractNote = {During the four-year period of the grant all of the goals of the originally proposed work were achieved, and some additional accomplishments are here reported. Two types of sensors were designed and built in the lab, capable of detecting uranium, plutonium and thorium at the 10 part-per-trillion level. The basis of both sensor types is a specially designed polymer having selective binding sites for actinyl ions of the form MO{sub 2}{sup 2+}(aq), where M is any actinide in the +6 oxidation state. This binding site also traps ions of the form MO{sub 2}{sup +}(aq), where M is any actinide in the +4 oxidation state. In this way, the polymer is responsive to the two most common water-soluble ions of the actinide series. The chelating ring responsible for binding the actinyl ions was identified from the literature, calix[n]arene where n = 6. Several versions of this sensing polymer were coated on conductive substrates and demonstrated for actinide sensing. An optimized sensor was developed and is fully described in this report. It has a polymer bilayer, fabricated under the particular conditions given below. Two different operating modes were demonstrated having different capabilities. One is the chemFET mode (a FET is a field effect transistor) and the other is the voltammetric mode. These two sensors give complementary information regarding the actinide species in a sample. Therefore our recommendation is that both be used together in a probe. A detailed design for such a probe has been filed as a patent application with the United States Patent Office, and is patent pending. The sensing polymer incorporating this actinyl-chelating ring was tested under a variety of conditions and the operating limits were determined. A full factorial experiment testing the polymerization method was conducted to optimize performance and characteristics of this polymer. The actinyl-sensing polymer was also deposited on the gate of a field effect transistor (FET) and demonstrated as a sensitive detector for uranium. Millimeter scale electrodes, operated by a hand-held instrument assembled in this lab and operated in the voltammetric mode, were transported to the DOE-Nevada test site (Las Vegas, NV) where field detection and quantitation of plutonium, uranium, and a mixture of these two elements was also demonstrated. Several probe designs were prepared, built and tested including probes with movable protective windows. A miniature, battery powered potentiostat was designed, built and demonstrated for use in a hand-held field portable instrument. This work was performed largely by undergraduates who gained valuable research experience, and many of them have continued on to graduate schools. In addition, they all gained exposure to and appreciation for national security research, in particular non-proliferation research. Four graduate students participated and one earned the MS degree on this project.},
doi = {10.2172/861664},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Nov 25 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Fri Nov 25 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}

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