Development of a procedure for measuring nitrogen by cold neutron prompt gamma-ray activation analysis
An instrument for cold neutron prompt gamma-ray activation analysis (CNPGAA) has been used for the nondestructive determination of nitrogen. The samples were analyzed in an evacuated box to minimize background from neutron capture by atmospheric nitrogen. The system features lower background and lower detection limits than obtainable with the University of Maryland–National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) thermal neutron PGAA instrument. CNPGAA has been used to measure nitrogen in standard reference materials which included biological materials and soils; the results are in agreement with certified values. The detection limit for nitrogen in most biological and geological samples is near 1000 mg kg−1.