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Analyst. 2006 Dec;131(12):1332-4. Epub 2006 Sep 28.

Separation of samarium and neodymium: a prerequisite for getting signals from nuclear synthesis.

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Department of Chemistry, The University of Burdwan, Burdwan, 713104, India.


(146)Sm (T(1/2) = 10(8) y) is a long-lived radionuclide which has been produced in significant amounts during burning in a supernova (SN). Detection of this SN produced long-lived radionuclide on Earth may be helpful for getting information on nuclear synthesis at the time of our solar system's formation. Only accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) can determine such minute traces of (146)Sm still expected in the Earth's crust. However, the villain of (146)Sm measurement through AMS is its naturally occurring stable isobar (146)Nd which is a million times more abundant than the trace amount of (146)Sm. Therefore an efficient method for the separation of samarium and neodymium is required to measure (146)Sm through AMS. A simple liquid-liquid extraction (LLX) based method for separation of samarium and neodymium has been developed using radiometric simulation. Di-(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid (HDEHP) has been used as the organic reagent. A very high separation factor ( approximately 10(6)) can be achieved when a solution containing samarium and neodymium is reduced by hydroxylamine hydrochloride followed by extraction with 0.1% HDEHP diluted in cyclohexane from 0.025 M HCl solution.

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