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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 104, Issue 7


A review on the mass spectrometric analysis of thorium

Suresh Kumar Aggarwal
  • Corresponding author
  • formerly at: Fuel Chemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai-400 085, India
  • permanent address: 1006, Sunflower, Neelkanth Gardens, Govandi-E, Mumbai 400 088, India
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Published Online: 2016-02-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ract-2015-2559


Mass spectrometric analysis of thorium is of great interest to geo-scientists and nuclear technologists. Though thorium is considered to be a mono-isotopic element for all practical purposes, the 230Th/232Th isotopic ratio provides useful information for various applications, e. g. dating of corals, build-up of 232U during reactor irradiation, etc. Among the gamut of mass spectrometric techniques available for the isotopic analysis of different elements, thermal ionization mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and secondary ion mass spectrometry are more commonly used for Th analysis. The problems of blank contribution and poor ionization efficiency of thorium, which are more serious in thorium mass spectrometric analysis, are discussed. The present state of the Th mass spectrometry is highlighted, with the futuristic increased use of thorium in energy production, in focus. The need to prepare and make available the certified isotopic reference materials for 230Th/232Th isotope ratios is emphasized.

Keywords: Thorium; Th-230/Th-232; mass spectrometry; nuclear technology; geosciences

About the article

Accepted: 2016-01-12

Received: 2015-11-30

Published Online: 2016-02-26

Published in Print: 2016-07-28

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta, Volume 104, Issue 7, Pages 445–455, ISSN (Online) 2193-3405, ISSN (Print) 0033-8230, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ract-2015-2559.

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