Ultra-sensitive radionuclide analyses: new frontiers in radioanalytics

  • Pavel P. PovinecEmail author


The most sensitive technologies for ultra-low-level analyses of long-lived radionuclides have been accelerator mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, reaching detection limits about 1 nBq/g. Together with underground operation of large volume HPGe detectors they have had great impact on underground physics experiments, approaching new frontiers in radioanalytics—a single atom counting.


Radiometrics Underground laboratory Accelerator mass spectrometry Penning trap 



Many colleagues participated in various stages of developments of radioanalytical methods for radiopurity investigations. These studies were triggered by development of low-level proportional counters for 3H and 14C counting in early seventies, which were in early nineties enlarged to multielement proportional chambers used for investigation of double beta-decay of 136Xe with groups of Prof. E. Fiorini in Gran Sasso and late Prof. A. Pomansky in Baksan underground laboratories. Later, our participation in new underground experiments for investigations of double beta-decay (NEMO-3), and especially searches for neutrinoless double beta decay (experiments SuperNEMO and LEGEND), as well as searches for dark matter particles (experiments EURECA and CRESST) stressed necessity of radiopure materials for construction of underground detectors. Except of many colleagues participating in the above-mentioned experiments, it has been a great privilege to work with my friends, distinguished scientists from all over the world. I would like to acknowledge recent collaboration with some of them (to mention at least the leaders of the groups participating in joint projects), namely L. Benedik (JSI, Ljubljana), M. Clemenza (INFN, Milano), D. Degering (VKAR, Dresden), D. Frekers (UniMünster), Y. Hamajima (UniKanazawa), M. Hult (IRMM, Geel), J. Kučera (INP CAS, Řež), D. Larivière (Université Laval, Québec), M. Laubenstein (GSNL, Assergi), S.H. Lee (KRISS, Daejeon), J.W. Mietelski (HNINP, Kraków), S. Nisi (GSNL, Assergi), M.K. Pham (IAEA-EL, Monaco), H. Simgen (MPIK, Heidelberg), F. Terrasi (UniCaserta), P. Steier (UniVienna). I am also indebted to many colleagues and graduated students in my CENTA team and at the Department of Nuclear Physics and Biophysics (R. Breier, M. Ješkovský, J. Kaizer, I. Kontul’, A. Kováčik, V. Palušová, J. Pánik, J. Staníček, J. Szarka, I. Sýkora, J. Zeman), as well as to S. Dulanská (Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University), for fruitful collaboration on recent developments of radiometric and accelerator mass spectrometry techniques for low-level radionuclide analyses. The developments of ultra-sensitive radioanalytical technologies and their applications at the Comenius University in Bratislava have recently been supported by the EU Research and Development Operational Program funded by the ERDF (Projects 26240120012, 26240120026 and 26240220004), by the International Atomic Energy Agency (Projects SLR 0/008, SLR 0/009, SLR1001), by the Slovak Research and Development Agency (Project APVV 15-0576) and by the Scientific Granting Agency of Slovakia (Projects VEGA 1/0891/17 and 1/0783/14).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Physics and Biophysics, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and InformaticsComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia

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