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X-Ray Emission Analysis of High Atomic Number Elements: A New Excitation Source Using Monoenergic 477 keV -Rays from the 10B(n, ) 7mLi 7Li Reaction

Volume 23, Number 1 (Feb. 1969) Page 1-4

Kowalski, B.R.; Isenhour, T.L.


A new excitation source has been developed for x-ray emission analysis of high atomic number elements. A mixture of the sample and a small amount of boron-10 is irradiated in a thermal neutron beam and the resultant × radiation is recorded using a Ge(Li) semiconductor detector and a multichannel analyzer. The boron-10 undergoes neutron capture (10B(n,α)7Li, σ=3840b) producing a single excited state of lithium-7 in 92.5% of the captures. Lithium-7m decays with a half-life of about 5x10−14 sec emitting a monoenergic 477 keV gamma ray. These gamma rays are in excellent geometry to the sample and are sufficiently energetic to excite the K × radiation of the highest atomic number elements known. The K x-ray spectra of several elements are presented along with a discussion of sample preparation and apparatus optimization.