The electrodeposition of actinide samples for alpha
spectroscopy provides a thin sample layer which is a prerequisite for
optimal energy resolution. The use of this technique has been restricted,
in part, because no commercial, multiple station apparatus has been
available. The electrodeposition procedure itself is not a selective
technique for a particular actinide element but is easily compatible with
popular separation techniques.
Electrodeposition has significant advantages over
precipitation methods that by definition add significant mass, which may
not always be firmly attached. The mass may also provide a method for acid
carry over which, over time, can damage expensive detectors.
Economical cells are constructed from 20 mL
polyethylene, liquid scintillation vials with the bottom removed. The
standard cap is replaced with a commercially available cap which has a
hole in the top for contact to the electrode. A 3/4 inch polished,
stainless steel planchet is inserted into the cap with the polished side
toward the solution. A platinum wire forms the other electrode; it is
anchored to a binding post at the top and has a “foot” formed just above
the planchet. Agitation is automatic due to the bubbles from electrolysis.
The user can adjust and monitor the current for each cell on its own
individual meter. All cells are wired in parallel so that you use only the
number you need at any one time and one cell does not effect the others.
Electrodeposition systems are available with 4, 6, 8 or
12 stations depending on the number of samples that you are processing.
There is also a stainless hood that will accommodate either one or two of
the 12 station systems.
Benefits of Electrodeposition