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Title: Image segmentation for uranium isotopic analysis by SIMS: Combined adaptive thresholding and marker controlled watershed approach

A novel approach to particle identification and particle isotope ratio determination has been developed for nuclear safeguard applications. This particle search approach combines an adaptive thresholding algorithm and marker-controlled watershed segmentation (MCWS) transform, which improves the secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) isotopic analysis of uranium containing particle populations for nuclear safeguards applications. The Niblack assisted MCWS approach (a.k.a. SEEKER) developed for this work has improved the identification of isotopically unique uranium particles under conditions that have historically presented significant challenges for SIMS image data processing techniques. Particles obtained from five NIST uranium certified reference materials (CRM U129A, U015, U150, U500 and U850) were successfully identified in regions of SIMS image data 1) where a high variability in image intensity existed, 2) where particles were touching or were in close proximity to one another and/or 3) where the magnitude of ion signal for a given region was count limited. Analysis of the isotopic distributions of uranium containing particles identified by SEEKER showed four distinct, accurately identified 235U enrichment distributions, corresponding to the NIST certified 235U/238U isotope ratios for CRM U129A/U015 (not statistically differentiated), U150, U500 and U850. Additionally, comparison of the minor uranium isotope (234U, 235U and 236U) atom percent valuesmore » verified that, even in the absence of high precision isotope ratio measurements, SEEKER could be used to segment isotopically unique uranium particles from SIMS image data. Although demonstrated specifically for SIMS analysis of uranium containing particles for nuclear safeguards, SEEKER has application in addressing a broad set of image processing challenges.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2166-2746; NN2001000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics; Journal Volume: 34; Journal Issue: 3
American Vacuum Society/AIP
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
SEEKER; adaptive thresholding; marker-controlled watershed segmentation; secondary ion mass spectrometry; nuclear safeguards; uranium particle analysis