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Neutron Activation Analysis

Neutron Activation Analysis


NAA is a non-destructive technique. The sample is placed inside a region of high neutron flux (like the core of a nuclear reactor). The bath the sample in neutrons. The nuclei in the sample will absorb some of the neutron, leaving unstable radioactive elements which decay with characteristic gamma ray emissions. Use of a high precision gamma detector to acquire the spectrum will allow one to determine the distribution of all trace elements in a single shot

bullets, paint, glass, metals, gunshot residue Forensic swabs

Gamma Detector

Nuclear Reactor Core

The prepared sample and standard sample are placed in a detector one at a time. The detector system counts and records gamma radiation emissions for a period of time.
Time varies, but is usually in the range of 5 minutes to an hour.

Specialized software analyzes radiation peaks. Peak data is correlated to specific elements for identification and quantification.

Computer data is compared to a nuclide chart to evaluate the results.

Neutron induced radioactivity Irradiate sodium (Na23) sample with neutrons


Neutron captured to give Na24 in excited state Jumps to lowest state of Na24> emits gamma-ray(s) (photon) With 1/2 life 15 hours:
Na24 emits electron to become Mg24 (beta decay) And another gamma (photon)

Electrons > autoradiography Gammas > NAA Similar story for many (not all) elements

Nuclear vs. atomic spectra


Electronic transitions in atoms
Spectral lines in the visible (~500 nm), ultra-violet (~10-400 nm), X-rays (~0.01-10 nm) Photon energies ~ 2 eV, ~ 3-100 eV, ~ 100 eV -100 keV

Neutron or proton transitions in nuclei


Spectral lines at even shorter wavelengths Photon energies ~ 100 keV-??? MeV = gamma rays

Nuclear emits gamma ray(s) characteristic of particular isotope (nuclide)


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Gamma-ray spectrometer
gamma ray
+

Multichannel pulseheight analyzer

e h e h eh Voltage supply

Germanium crystal

counts

display energy

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activity

Preferential nuclide selection


long 1/2-life

short 1/2-life

short

irradiation time

long

activity
short 1/2-life

long 1/2-life

short

delay time

long

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Advantages of NAA
Simultaneous analysis for many elements Chemical preparation rarely necessary Non-destructive testing Reliable quantitative results Very high sensitivity (for some elements)
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Sensitivity for different elements


10-12 g

2 3 5 23 22 12 4 2

1 atom in a million-million in a 1 gram sample

1 atom in a hundred thousand in a 1 gram sample

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19 elements not even listed! Bottom line great analysis techniqueIF youve got the right problem

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Gamma Ray Energy Spectrum from NAA Study

Gamma-ray spectrum showing several short-lived elements measured in a sample of pottery irradiated for 5 seconds, decayed for 25 minutes, and counted for 12 minutes with an HPGe detector.

Gamma Spectra from a Sample of Pottery Irradiated for 5 Seconds, Decayed for 25 Minutes, and Counted for 12 Minutes with an HPGe Detector.

Gamma Spectra from a Sample of Pottery Irradiated for 24 Hours, Decayed for 9 Days, and Counted for 30 Minutes on a HPGe Detector.

Ujian
100 menit Closed book Soal 5 buah Materi sd NAA PR ada di elisa menghitung sistem kristal dan unit sel dari data XRD dikumpulkan saat ujian.

Uses of Neutron Activation Analysis


NAA can be used to determine the presence of a variety of elements in a sample. Examples include:
Mercury levels in tuna fish Aluminum levels in finger nails Gold levels in hair Zinc levels in soil Arsenic levels in plants (Photos courtesy of the Laboratory Facility at the University of Florida Training Reactor)