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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasensitive detection of radioactive cesium isotopes using a magneto-optical trap
Author(s): Michael D. Di Rosa; Scott G. Crane; Jason J. Kitten; Wayne A. Taylor; David Vieira; Xinxin Zhao
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Paper Abstract

We report the first magneto-optical trapping of radioactive 135Cs and 137Cs and a promising means for detecting these isotopes to ultrasensitive levels by using a magneto-optical trap (MOT) coupled to a mass separator. A sample containing both isotopes was placed in the source of a mass separator, ionized, mass separated, and implanted in a Zr foil within the MOT cell. After implantation, atoms were released from the foil by inductive heating and then captured in a MOT that used large diameter beams and a dry-film-coated cell to achieve high trapping efficiency. MOT fluorescence signals were measured for trapped-atom numbers from 104 to 107 and were found to increase linearly with the number of atoms implanted in the foil. The slope of signal versus number implanted was equal for each isotope to within 4%, signifying our ability to measure 137Cs/135Cs ratios to within 4% for MOT signal levels exceeding that associated with our present detection limit of 4000 trapped atoms. The MOT-based detection scheme was shown capable of suppressing interference from stable 133Cs by more than seven orders of magnitude. Including an isotopic selectivity of 105 of the mass separator, the overall suppression of 133Cs in the case of detecting either 135Cs and 137Cs is expected to exceed 1012. At present, the overall sample detection sensitivity is less than one million atoms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4634, Methods for Ultrasensitive Detection II, (28 March 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.463836
Show Author Affiliations
Michael D. Di Rosa, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Scott G. Crane, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Jason J. Kitten, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Wayne A. Taylor, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
David Vieira, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Xinxin Zhao, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4634:
Methods for Ultrasensitive Detection II
Charles W. Wilkerson Jr., Editor(s)

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