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Radiochimica Acta

International Journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology

Editor-in-Chief: Qaim, Syed M.

12 Issues per year

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Volume 97, Issue 8


Gas chemical investigation of hafnium and zirconium complexes with hexafluoroacetylacetone using preseparated short-lived radioisotopes

Ch. E. Düllmann / K. E. Gregorich
  • 1 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Nuclear Science Division, Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A.
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/ G. K. Pang
  • 2 Department of Chemistry and National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University, 48824, U.S.A.
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/ I. Dragojevic / Robert Eichler
  • 4 Paul Scherrer Institut, Laboatory for Radio- and Environmental Chemistry, Villigen, Schweiz
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/ C.M. Folden III / M. A. Garcia / J. M. Gates / D.C. Hoffman / S. L. Nelson / Ralf Sudowe / Heino Nitsche
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2009.1630


Volatile metal complexes of the group 4 elements Zr and Hf with hexafluoroacetylacetonate (hfa) have been studied using short-lived radioisotopes of the metals. The new technique of physical preseparation has been employed where reaction products from heavy-ion induced fusion reactions are isolated in a physical recoil separator – the Berkeley Gas-filled Separator in our work – and made available for chemistry experiments. Formation and decomposition of M(hfa)4 (M=Zr, Hf) has been observed and the interaction strength with a fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) Teflon surface has been studied. From the results of isothermal chromatography experiments, an adsorption enthalpy of -ΔHa=(57±3) kJ/mol was deduced. In optimization experiments, the time for formation of the complex and its transport to a counting setup installed outside of the irradiation cave was minimized and values of roughly one minute have been reached. The half-life of 165Hf, for which conflicting values appear in the literature, was measured to be (73.9±0.8) s. Provided that samples suitable for α-spectroscopy can be prepared, the investigation of rutherfordium (Rf), the transactinide member of group 4, appears possible. In the future, based on the studies presented here, it appears possible to investigate short-lived single atoms produced with low rates ( e.g. , transactinide isotopes) in completely new chemical systems, e.g. , as metal complexes with organic ligands as used here or as organometallic compounds.

Keywords: Zirconium; Hafnium; Hexafluoroacetylacetonates; Thermochromatography; Isothermal gas chromatogaphy

About the article

* Correspondence address: Nuclear Chemistry, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Planckstrasse 1, 64291 DARMSTADT,

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2009-08-01

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta International journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology, Volume 97, Issue 8, Pages 403–418, ISSN (Print) 0033-8230, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2009.1630.

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