Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Quantifying Uranium Isotope Ratios Using Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry: The Influence of Laser Parameters on Relative Ionization Probability
by Isselhardt, Brett Hallen, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2011, 256; 3498831
Abstract (Summary)

Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) has been developed as a method to measure relative uranium isotope abundances. In this approach, RIMS is used as an element-selective ionization process to provide a distinction between uranium atoms and potential isobars without the aid of chemical purification and separation. We explore the laser parameters critical to the ionization process and their effects on the measured isotope ratio. Specifically, the use of broad bandwidth lasers with automated feedback control of wavelength was applied to the measurement of 235U/238U ratios to decrease laser-induced isotopic fractionation. By broadening the bandwidth of the first laser in a 3-color, 3-photon ionization process from a bandwidth of 1.8 GHz to about 10 GHz, the variation in sequential relative isotope abundance measurements decreased from >10% to less than 0.5%. This procedure was demonstrated for the direct interrogation of uranium oxide targets with essentially no sample preparation. A rate equation model for predicting the relative ionization probability has been developed to study the effect of variation in laser parameters on the measured isotope ratio. This work demonstrates that RIMS can be used for the robust measurement of uranium isotope ratios.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Prussin, Stanley G.
Commitee: Hutcheon, Ian D., Nitsche, Heino, Savina, Michael R., Vetter, Kai
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: Nuclear Engineering
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nuclear engineering, Atoms & subatomic particles, Nuclear physics
Keywords: Isotope ratios, Lasers, Relative ionization probability, Resonance ionization, Uranium
Publication Number: 3498831
ISBN: 978-1-267-22647-1
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