Neutron Activation Analysis

Activation Analysis is an experimental technique with which trace amounts of elements present in a sample can be determined.   Neutrons in the reactor are used to activate a sample and by examining the energy spectrum of the gamma radiation of the activated sample, the concentration of certain elements originally present in the original sample can be determined.

Concentrations can be determined by using a known NIST standard material alongside samples.  In addition, the efficiencies of several counting geometries are known for the Reactor Lab’s HPGe detectors.