Isotopes and Applications

Working Group Conveners

Andrew Ratkiewicz (LLNL), Ivis Chaple Gore (UTK), Aaron Couture (LANL), Suzi Lapi (University of Alabama), Dave Morrissey (FRIB), Graham Peaslee (University of Notre Dame), Jo Ressler (LLNL), Brad Sherrill (FRIB)


This working group has concentrated on promoting the various applications that utilize exotic isotopes and developing systems to harvest radioactive isotopes at FRIB (and forerunner accelerators). Several harvesting techniques are being developed, including separation of isotopes from cooling water in the beam dump, harvesting of isotopes from near beam slits and focal points adjacent to the primary beam, and cryogenic harvesting of noble gasses (and possibly other gases) at appropriate locations.

Further Details

While the standard mode of operation at FRIB will be to produce a rare isotope beam for a primary user, the fragmentation or fission of the production beam will produce up to 1000 other isotopes that could be collected (harvested) and used for other experiments or applications. The potential applications of these harvested isotopes range from the determination of neutron cross sections for homeland security to kinetic studies of radionuclide uptake in biological processes. Longer-lived samples of the unused isotopes could be collected and used in an ion source for accelerated beam experiments at ReA3, ReA12, or other accelerator facilities outside FRIB.

The general areas of interest fall into 6 broad categories:

  • Nuclear power (nuclear data is needed to optimize reactor design, safeguards applications, and for studies related to reprocessing or disposal of nuclear waste)
  • Homeland security (nuclear data is needed for modeling of nuclear reactions, detection of nuclear material and other threats, and development and calibration of threat detection technologies)
  • Stockpile stewardship (nuclear data is needed for modeling of nuclear reaction networks, similar to astrophysics studies, such as (n,2n), (n,gamma), (n,p), and (n,f))
  • Medical diagnostics (development of new imaging and treatment technologies, kinetic studies of material uptake in the body, and the possible production of biomedical radioisotopes for diagnostics and therapy)
  • Nanoprobes for materials science using radioisotopes (for example the use of polarized 8Li)
  • Industrial and environmental tracers (for example, 7Be, 210Pb, 137Cs, etc.)

The harvesting Working Group addresses two general areas:

  • The potential uses of rare isotopes at FRIB that fall outside of basic research in nuclear physics, astrophysics, and particle physics
  • The collection of selected isotopes that could be used to prepare radioactive targets or samples for experiments and allow a limited multi-user capability at FRIB.

Collaboration Meetings