Boron Isotopic Ratio (δ11B) Measurements in Boron Carbide (B4C): Benchmarking Between SF-ICP-MS and PIGE Techniques
The results of comparing the analytical capabilities of Sector Field Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (SF-ICP-MS) and Particle Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) methods for determining the 11B/10B isotope ratio in boron carbide samples (B4C) are presented. The following nuclear reactions excited by protons on the stable boron isotopes are considered: 10B(p,aγ)7Be, 10B(p,pγ)7Be and 11B(p,γ)12C. The optimum proton energy range was determined to be within 550 to 600 keV, while the energies of the induced gamma-radiation that can be used for quantitative estimation of the boron isotopes were 429 keV and 4439 keV for the isotopes 10B and 11B, respectively. Considering the uncertainties of measurements, the data for the 11B/10B isotope ratios, measured by the SF‑ICP‑MS and PIGE methods, are found to correlate with each other; yet they are characterized by a systematic bias. The uncertainty of measurements by the PIGE method was somewhat higher in comparison with SF-ICP-MS, and ranged from ± 4.1 % to ± 4.3 %, and from ± 1.1 % to ± 3.5 %, respectively.
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