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Radiochimica Acta

International Journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology

Editor-in-Chief: Qaim, Syed M.

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.339

CiteScore 2018: 1.20

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.333
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.720

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Volume 96, Issue 8


Precise isotope ratio measurements by MC-ICP-MS and application of the isotope dilution technique for the determination of germanium in the Gallium Neutrino Observatory

Maria Wallenius / Klaus Mayer / Sylvain Millet / Adrian Nicholl / Edmund Henrich / Marco Balata / Stefano Nisi / Klaus Lützenkirchen
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2008.1513


In the Gallium Neutrino Observatory (GNO) experiment solar neutrinos are studied. Low energy neutrinos interact with 71Ga producing radioactive 71Ge, which decays with a half-life of 11.43 days back to 71Ga. This β+-decay is used for quantifying the number of solar neutrinos observed. Stable Ge isotopes are used as carriers when 71Ge atoms are extracted from the GaCl3 target for measuring their decay. The carrier serves at the same time for quantification of the chemical yield of the extraction process.

Ge-removal from the GaCl3 detector solution proceeds exponentially and a small amount of Ge carrier remains in the Ga-tank, which is removed only during the following extraction(s). The use of different stable enriched Ge isotopes (70Ge, 72Ge, 74Ge and 76Ge) in alternating sequence allows one to determine the extraction yield of the carrier by high precision isotope ratio measurements. The measurements are carried out using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). The exact quantification of any residual Ge carrier from the preceding run is achieved through isotope dilution calculations and isotope mixture calculations.

In this paper we describe the evaluation of the results using the two-isotopes and two-components approach, as well as the multi-isotope and three-components approaches. We could demonstrate that the measured isotopic composition of the carrier after extraction can be fully modelled by a mixture of the initially used Ge carrier, of the Ge carrier from the previous run and of a small, but non-negligible contribution of a natural Ge contamination.

Keywords: Germanium; MC-ICP-MS; Isotope dilution; GNO

About the article

Received: 2007-11-05

Revised: 2008-01-30

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2008-08-01

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta, Volume 96, Issue 8, Pages 449–453, ISSN (Online) 2193-3405, ISSN (Print) 0033-8230, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2008.1513.

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