Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Ultra-Low-Level 129I in Carrier-Free AgI-AgCl Sputter Targets

Qi Liu, Xiaolin Hou, Weijian Zhou, Yunchong Fu

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    Separation of carrier-free iodine from low-level iodine samples and accurate measurement of ultra-low-level 129I in microgram iodine target are essential but a bottleneck in geology and environment research using naturally produced 129I. This article presents a detection technique of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) for accurate determination of ultra-low-level 129I in carrier-free AgI-AgCl sputter targets. Copper instead of aluminum was selected as the suitable sample holder material to avoid the reaction of AgI-AgCl powder with aluminum. Niobium powder was selected as thermally and electrically conductive matrix to be mixed with AgI-AgCl powder, in order to obtain and maintain a stable and high iodine ion current intensity, as well as less memory effect and low background level of 129I. The most optimal ratio of the Nb matrix to the AgI-AgCl powder was found to be 5:1 by mass. The typical current of 127I5+ using AgI-AgCl targets with iodine content from 5 to 80 μg was measured to be 5 to 100 nA. Four-year AMS measurements of the 129I/127I ratios in standards of low iodine content and the machine blanks showed a good repeatability and stability.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)725-733
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Iodine-129
    • Accelerator mass spectrometry
    • Carrier-free
    • AgI-AgCl target
    • Low level measurement


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