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Issue 12, 2006
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Separation of samarium and neodymium: a prerequisite for getting signals from nuclear synthesis

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Abstract

146Sm (T1/2 = 108 y) is a long-lived radionuclide which has been produced in significant amounts during burning in a supernova (SN). Detection of this SN produced long-lived radionuclide on Earth may be helpful for getting information on nuclear synthesis at the time of our solar system’s formation. Only accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) can determine such minute traces of 146Sm still expected in the Earth’s crust. However, the villain of 146Sm measurement through AMS is its naturally occurring stable isobar 146Nd which is a million times more abundant than the trace amount of 146Sm. Therefore an efficient method for the separation of samarium and neodymium is required to measure 146Sm through AMS. A simple liquid–liquid extraction (LLX) based method for separation of samarium and neodymium has been developed using radiometric simulation. Di-(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid (HDEHP) has been used as the organic reagent. A very high separation factor (∼106) can be achieved when a solution containing samarium and neodymium is reduced by hydroxylamine hydrochloride followed by extraction with 0.1% HDEHP diluted in cyclohexane from 0.025 M HCl solution.

Graphical abstract: Separation of samarium and neodymium: a prerequisite for getting signals from nuclear synthesis

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Article information


Submitted
08 Jun 2006
Accepted
12 Sep 2006
First published
28 Sep 2006

Analyst, 2006,131, 1332-1334
Article type
Paper

Separation of samarium and neodymium: a prerequisite for getting signals from nuclear synthesis

S. Maji, S. Lahiri, B. Wierczinski and G. Korschinek, Analyst, 2006, 131, 1332 DOI: 10.1039/B608157F

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