Authors:J. Dale, L. Hulett, S. Pendyala and W. Lyon
In using positrons as analytical tools the experimenter has two quite different options. The first and more obvious is to duplicate electron methods with positrons and see what differences (if any) result. The second is to exploit a unique characteristic of positrons, such as the formation and decay of the positronium atom, to study chemical composition and surface characteristics. Because positrons do not exist freely in our world, they must be obtained from radioactive sources or nuclear interactions. Source intensity has consequently been a limiting factor in experiments that attempt to duplicate electron applications. Some methods of producing and moderating positrons that have been developed here (and elsewhere) are described as well as results from studies using the sources. Surface measurements require less intense sources and yield useful data on materials such as xeolites, silica gels, graphite and alumina. Experimental apparatus, data and interpretation will be discussed.