Radon and progeny alpha-particle energy analysis using nuclear track methodology

  • G. Espinosa
  • J. I. Golzarri
  • J. S. Bogard
Environmental Radioactivity


A preliminary procedure for alpha-energy analysis of radon and its progeny using nuclear track methodology (NTM) is described in this paper. The method is based on the relationship between alpha-particle energies deposited in polycarbonate material (CR-39) and the track size developed after a well-established chemical etching process. Track geometry, defined by parameters such as major or minor diameters, track area and overall track length, is shown to correlate with alpha-particle energy over the range 6.00 MeV (218Po) to 7.69 MeV (214Po). Track features are measured and the data analyzed automatically using a digital imaging system and commercial PC software. Examination of particle track diameters in CR-39 exposed to environmental radon reveals a multi-modal distribution. Locations of the maxima in this distribution are highly correlated with alpha-particle energies of radon daughters, and the distributions are sufficiently resolved to identify the radioisotopes. This method can be useful for estimating the radiation dose from indoor exposure to radon and its progeny.


Radon Thoron Etching Time Nuclear Track Detector Track Geometry 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de FísicaUNAMMéxico, D.F.Mexico
  2. 2.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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