Purpose of experiment

The purpose of the experiment is a demonstration of the relative neutron activation analysis technique (NAA). This technique is widely used in a variety of fields (e.g. environmental sciences, forensic science, analysis of geological and inorganic materials, foodstuff, etc.). It plays a key role within environmental specimen banking programmes.

Outcome / What you will learn
Students will:

  1. prepare samples and standards for irradiation in the neutron field of a nuclear reactor
  2. perform the irradiations and measure the gamma spectra of the irradiated samples and standards
  3. analyse gamma spectra and determine analyte concentrations
  1. Preparation and weighing of samples and standards;
  2. Encapsulation of the test portions and standards in e.g. polyethylene foil / capsules;
  3. Neutron irradiation of samples and standards;
  4. Sequential measurements of the induced radio activities in samples and standards by gamma-ray spectrometry;
  5. Interpretation of the gamma-ray spectra (i.e. peak fitting;
  6. Calculation of the concentrations in the samples.
Exercise No. 13: Neutron activation analysis