Neutron activation analysis capabilities and applications at the Penn State Radiation Science and Engineering Center

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The Penn State Breazeale Reactor has a long history of neutron activation analysis research and development, including applications for forensic applications. Our current experimental capabilities, including a 1 MW TRIGA reactor with a movable core and multiple irradiation locations, a pneumatic sample transfer system, multiple HPGe detectors, and a Compton suppression system, have enabled the development of an active NAA program investigating trace-element concentrations in environmental samples, archaeological samples, and industrial materials. Three NAA projects concerning tree-ring trace element analysis for correlation with large volcanic eruptions, ancient Italian tile element analysis to investigate Roman-era construction materials, and the implementation of k0-standardization method, are highlighted to demonstrate how our facilities and our current NAA research experience make the Penn State RSEC readily available for high-precision trace element analysis for forensics applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Chemistry
StatePublished - Mar 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Law

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