Chromatographic separation of thulium from erbium for neutron capture cross section measurements—Part I: Trace scale optimization of ion chromatography method with various complexing agents
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The impact of various ion chromatography parameters on the separation of trace amounts of thulium from erbium was examined to address the need for the preparation of a 171Tm target for neutron capture cross section measurements. The following optimal operation parameters for analytical scale separations with cation exchange resin were established based on a modified separation resolution: 0.046 M α-HIB− as eluent with a flow rate of 1.2 mL min−1 at 25 °C. Different carboxylic acids with varying pH were also investigated, which reaffirmed the use of α-hydroxyisobutyrate as the most suitable complexant for the separation of these neighboring lanthanides.
KeywordsThulium Erbium Ion chromatography separation Hydroxyisobutyric acid
The authors would like to thank David Vieira, Todd Bredeweg and Mary Turner for their support. This work was funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Academic Alliances Program under grant DEFG52-10NA29658.
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