One of the more difficult problems associated with comparative neutron activation analysis (CNAA) is the preparation of standards which are tailor-made to the desired irradiation and counting conditions. Frequently, there simply is not a suitable standard available commercially, or the resulting gamma spectrum is convoluted with interferences. In a recent soil analysis project, the need arose for standards which contained about 35 elements. In response, a computer spreadsheet was developed to calculate the appropriate amount of each element so that the resulting gamma spectrum is relatively free of interferences. Incorporated in the program are options for calculating all of the irradiation and counting parameters including activity produced, necessary flux/bombardment time, counting time, and appropriate source-to-detector distance. The result is multi-element standards for CNAA which have optimal concentrations. The program retains ease of use without sacrificing capability. In addition to optimized standard production, a novel soil homogenization technique was developed which is a low cost, highly efficient alternative to commercially available homogenization systems. Comparative neutron activation analysis for large scale projects has been made easier through these advancements. This paper contains details of the design and function of the NAA spreadsheet and innovative sample handling techniques.
|Journal of Radionalytical and Nuclear Chemistry|
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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|Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó|
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