DOE Science Showcase - Isotope Separation Research

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams radio frequency quadrupole

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams radio frequency quadrupole
Image credit: Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, Michigan State University


Isotopes, or variants of basic elements, are used in a wide variety of scientific applications and are of strategic importance to our Nation, but they must be separated, or enriched, to be useful to the research community.  Separation of specific isotopes for research or industrial processes has been an ongoing challenge since isotopes were first discovered in the 1930s.  The Department of Energy (DOE) Isotope Program stewards two production facilities as well as several separation facilities to overcome isotope separation challenges, supply priority isotope products, and perform related services.

Construction is currently underway for a new scientific user facility for isotope separation and production, the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University.  Funded by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Nuclear Physics, Michigan State University, and the State of Michigan, the FRIB is expected to produce previously inaccessible, short-lived, rare isotopes with sufficient intensity to address most of the fundamental nuclear physics important for understanding stellar explosions and the origin of the elements.  FRIB technical reports are available in the SciTech Connect database.  More information about isotope separation research, including DOE research reports, publications, and data collections about isotope separation research projects, is available in the DOE databases and related resources provided below.    

Related Research Information in DOE Databases

For additional information, see the OSTI Catalogue of Collections.

Additional Resources


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