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Title: The use of aluminum nitride to improve Aluminum-26 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry measurements and production of Radioactive Ion Beams

In this paper, we present results and discuss the use of aluminum nitride as a promising source material for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and Radioactive Ion Beams (RIBs) science applications of 26Al isotopes. The measurement of 26Al in geological samples by AMS is typically conducted on Al2O3 targets. However, Al2O3 is not an ideal source material because it does not form a prolific beam of Al- required for measuring low-levels of 26Al. Multiple samples of aluminum oxide (Al2O3), aluminum nitride (AlN), mixed Al2O3–AlN as well as aluminum fluoride (AlF3) were tested and compared using the ion source test facility and the stable ion beam (SIB) injector platform at the 25-MV tandem electrostatic accelerator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Negative ion currents of atomic and molecular aluminum were examined for each source material. It was found that pure AlN targets produced substantially higher beam currents than the other materials and that there was some dependence on the exposure of AlN to air. The applicability of using AlN as a source material for geological samples was explored by preparing quartz samples as Al2O3 and converting them to AlN using a carbothermal reduction technique, which involved reducing the Al2O3 with graphite powder atmore » 1600°C within a nitrogen atmosphere. The quartz material was successfully converted to AlN. Thus far, AlN proves to be a promising source material and could lead towards increasing the sensitivity of low-level 26Al AMS measurements. In conclusion, the potential of using AlN as a source material for nuclear physics is also very promising by placing 26AlN directly into a source to produce more intense radioactive beams of 26Al.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Physics Division; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Physics Division
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Physics Division; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B, Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 361; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-583X
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 07 ISOTOPE AND RADIATION SOURCES; AMS; 26Al; Aluminum nitride; Negative ion source