Radiochemical separation of exotic radionuclides from accelerator waste for nuclear astrophysics experiments
High-energetic protons and secondary particles produce in interaction with matter – due to the broadness of the induced nuclear reactions – a big variety of radionuclides, with some of them being very rare, exotic, and, in several cases, difficult to be produced by complementary reactions. Depending on the nature of the activated material, valuable isotopes, interesting for scientific and technological applications, can be extracted from samples stemming from the surroundings or components of a particle accelerator, especially if the initial proton flux is comparable high (in the Megawatt range).
Prominent examples are 7Be, 60Fe, 44Ti, 53Mn and others, which play an essential role for our understanding of the synthesis of elements in different stages of the stellar evolution. Suitable sample materials for basic studies of the key nuclear reactions as well precise determination of the corresponding half-lives are therefore urgently needed.
Since PSI operates the most powerful high-energetic proton accelerator world-wide, this facility is best-suited for a R&D program aimed to “mine” such isotopes. The present seminar gives an brief overview on the available materials, summarizes shortly the most prominent results and gives an outlook on the upcoming experiments with a special focus on 53Mn, which is foreseen as target material for an n_TOF measurement in the new EAR2. The mandatory mass separation from stable 55Mn is foreseen to be performed at ISOLDE.