skip to main content


Title: Enhanced ionization efficiency in TIMS analyses of plutonium and americium using porous ion emitters

Investigations of enhanced sample utilization in thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) using porous ion emitter (PIE) techniques for the analyses of trace quantities of americium and plutonium were performed. Repeat ionization efficiency (i.e., the ratio of ions detected to atoms loaded on the filament) measurements were conducted on sample sizes ranging from 10–100 pg for americium and 1–100 pg for plutonium using PIE and traditional (i.e., a single, zone-refined rhenium, flat filament ribbon with a carbon ionization enhancer) TIMS filament sources. When compared to traditional filaments, PIEs exhibited an average boost in ionization efficiency of ~550% for plutonium and ~1100% for americium. A maximum average efficiency of 1.09% was observed at a 1 pg plutonium sample loading using PIEs. Supplementary trials were conducted using newly developed platinum PIEs to analyze 10 pg mass loadings of plutonium. As a result, platinum PIEs exhibited an additional ~134% boost in ion yield over standard PIEs and ~736% over traditional filaments at the same sample loading level.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1387-3806
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: International Journal of Mass Spectrometry; Journal ID: ISSN 1387-3806
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; Thermal ionization mass spectrometry, Porous ion emitter, Ionization efficiency, Americium, Plutonium, Nuclear forensics
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416027