Abstract

The carrier distillation method is considered a quick way to analyze impurities within refractory compounds. However, it is less accurate than most analysis methods. This may be attributed to various causes, among which, one of the most important is the lack of arc stability resulting in large fluctuations of the impurity emission rate vs time. This leads to poor reproducibility and to the need for computing averages of line intensities over several spectra of the same sample. Many means of improvement have been suggested, such as monitoring the electrical characteristics, controlling the operating atmosphere, or using a special cathode. This report covers a series of tests performed with a spectrograph equipped with a stabilized power unit. Results obtained on plutonium oxides with or without intensity stabilization are compared.

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