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Title: Isotope separation by photoselective dissociative electron capture

Disclosed is a method of separating isotopes based on photoselective electron capture dissociation of molecules having an electron capture cross section dependence on the vibrational state of the molecule. A molecular isotope source material is irradiated to selectively excite those molecules containing a desired isotope to a predetermined vibrational state having associated therewith an electron capture energy region substantially non-overlapping with the electron capture energy ranges associated with the lowest vibration states of the molecules. The isotope source is also subjected to electrons having an energy corresponding to the non-overlapping electron capture region whereby the selectively excited molecules preferentially capture electrons and dissociate into negative ions and neutrals. The desired isotope may be in the negative ion product or in the neutral product depending upon the mechanism of dissociation of the particular isotope source used. The dissociation product enriched in the desired isotope is then separated from the reaction system by conventional means. Specifically, [sup 235]UF[sub 6] is separated from a UF[sub 6] mixture by selective excitation followed by dissociative electron capture into [sup 235]UF[sub 5]- and F. 2 figs.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6962812
Report Number(s):
US 4110182; A
PPN: US 5-696997
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 17 Jun 1976
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; URANIUM 235; ISOTOPE SEPARATION; ANIONS; ELECTRON CAPTURE; EXCITATION; URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE; URANIUM PENTAFLUORIDE; ACTINIDE COMPOUNDS; ACTINIDE ISO; ACTINIDE NUCLEI; ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; CAPTURE; CHARGED PARTICLES; ENERGY-LEVEL TRANSITIONS; EVEN-ODD NUCLEI; FLUORIDES; FLUORINE COMPOUNDS; HALIDES; HALOGEN COMPOUNDS; HEAVY NUCLEI; INTERNAL CONVERSION RADIOISOTOPES; IONS; ISOMERIC TRANSITION ISOTOPES; ISOTOPES; MINUTES LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; NUCLEI; RADIOISOTOPES; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SPONTANEOUS FISSION RADIOISOTOPES; URANIUM COMPOUNDS; URANIUM FLUORIDES; URANIUM ISOTOPES 050500* -- Nuclear Fuels-- Uranium Enrichment