Description: Accurate, quantitative determinations of alpha-emitting nuclides by conventional plate-counting methods are difficult because of sample self-absorption problems in counting and because of non-reproducible losses in conventional sample separation methods. Liquid scintillation alpha spectrometry offers an attractive with no sample self-absorption or geometry problems and with 100% counting efficiency. Sample preparation may include extraction of the alpha emitter of interest by a specific organic-phase-soluble compound directly into the liquid scintillation counting medium. Detection electronics use energy and pulse-shape discrimination to yield alpha spectra without beta and gamma background interference. Specific procedures have been developed for gross alpha, uranium, plutonium, thorium, and polonium assay. Possibilities for a large number of other applications exist. Accuracy and reproducibility are typically in the 1% range. Backgrounds on the order of 0.01 cpm are readily achievable. The paper will present an overview of liquid scintillation alpha counting techniques and some of the results achieved for specific applications.
Date: January 1, 1983
Creator: McKlveen, J.W. & McDowell, W.J.
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