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Laboratory of Neutron and Gamma Radiation Diagnostics


An activation analysis is a method for the determination of elements based upon the conversion of stable nuclei to other, mostly radioactive nuclei. It means that method is used for the measurement of the reaction products. In case of neutron activation analysis (NAA) the nuclear reactions occur via irradiation the target material to be analysed with neutrons. As a result of the neutron capture by the nuclei of the target material, the reaction products may emit either immediate or delayed radiation. In Laboratory of Neutron and Gamma Radiation Diagnostics the commonly used method is an Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA), where the resulting radioactive sample is kept intact, and the elements are determined by taking advantage of the differences in decay rates via measurements at different decay intervals utilizing equipment with a high energy resolution.

The activation analysis method is one of the modern instrumental analytical methods. This method has been widely used since 1950 to analyse trace elements at ppm and lower levels on a wide range of materials. It is considered that neutron activation analysis is very sensitive and accurate method and is therefore used to check the reliability of other analytical methods. Neutron activation analysis has found numerous applications in various fields of science and technology, such as geology, metallurgy, biology, medicine, forensics, environmental pollution control as well as plasma physics and nuclear fusion.

The Laboratory of Neutron and Gamma Radiation Diagnostics performs the measurements of gamma radiation emitted from activated samples as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis of products emitting radiation. An anti-coincidence system has been recently installed in the Laboratory, which allows to significantly reduce the influence of background on the determination of individual radionuclides in the samples (see photos below). The main element of this system is the HPGe detector (Canberra) with a relative efficiency of 30% and an energy resolution of 1.76 keV for the energy of gamma quanta 1332 keV. This spectrometer is equipped with Numerical Characteristics and GENIE 2000 software, which allows for energy-efficiency calibration for considered measurement geometry without using a physical reference source, which is often very costly and time-consuming.

The anti-coincidence system also includes a 3 ”x3” NaI scintillator. Both detectors are placed in a massive lead shield (15 cm thick) with a low content of 210Pb and the inner side of the lead sheath covered with a copper layer.

The Laboratory of Gamma Radiation Spectrometry commonly uses a certified multigamma calibration source for energy and energy-efficiency calibration of gamma radiation detectors. The IPPLM possesses the Am-Be neutron source with radioactivity of about 180 GBq for 30.07.1976. This neutron source can be used for the irradiation of metal samples in the neutron flux.

Galeria fotografii

Laboratory of Neutron and Gamma Radiation Diagnostics offers:

  • Testing the level of radioactivity of various materials (metals, alloys, environmental samples, etc.);
  • Qualitative analysis of reaction products created in irradiated samples;
  • Quantitative analysis (determination of radioactivity) nuclides contained in the analyzes samples;
  • Detection of trace amounts of impurities in the samples (ppm and ppb) based on the neutron activation analysis;
  • Verification of the composition of materials offered by producers and monitoring of the amount of impurities.


Laboratory of Neutron and Gamma Radiation Diagnostics
  • +48 22 638 10 05 w. 45
  • ewa.laszynska@ifpilm.pl