Research applications videoCalifornium-252 is utilized across various sectors, including academic, government, and private research, to facilitate groundbreaking studies and innovations. Its unique properties, especially its neutron emission, have made it a significant tool in scientific research and education, offering a wide range of applications from calibration to starting up nuclear reactors.

Benefits Of Using Californium-252 For Research:

– Accuracy: Californium-252’s high emission rate can analyze particles with great precision and accuracy.

– Safety: While californium-252 can be dangerous when handled improperly, Frontier Technology Corporation creates single- and double-encapsulated sources for Cf-252 and ships them in Type-A containers. With these safety measures, californium-252 becomes much safer to use for research.

– Convenience: Frontier’s encapsulation processes and containers make this isotope convenient to store, transport, use and return.

– Speed: PGNAA, PINS, and other tests using Cf-252 provide real-time results that researchers can instantly analyze for a fast turnaround on their application.

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In research facilities, Cf-252 neutron sources are used to calibrate material analysis equipment by ensuring it is properly reading the samples used as standard references. It is also useful in preparing samples and machines used in experimental research.

Cf-252 can also be used as a standard in calibrating instruments that detect and measure neutron flux, such as neutron counters and radiation monitoring equipment. Its consistent neutron emission enables precise calibration, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of scientific instruments.


Neutron Source Research Applications

Californium-252 (Cf-252) is a highly radioactive isotope of californium, a synthetic element. This isotope is known for its ability to emit a high flux of neutrons, making it incredibly valuable as a neutron source for the following applications:

Activation Analysis

Cf-252 is crucial in neutron activation analysis, a technique used to determine the compositions of materials by measuring the radiation emitted from elements that have been activated by neutrons. This method is widely applied in geological and material sciences to analyze the elemental composition of unknown samples. The isotope is effective for material identification and analysis of the physical and chemical properties of different compounds.

Prompt-Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis

Prompt-gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) is a non-destructive technique that uses Cf-252 to analyze the presence and quantities of certain elements in small to large sample sizes. Based on the levels of certain substances or elements positively correlated with them, researchers can determine the composition of a specific surface area or the likely composition of a larger area.

Neutron Radiography

This non-destructive testing technique uses neutrons emitted by Cf-252 to produce images of objects. Unlike X-rays, neutron radiography can penetrate certain metals with ease while being stopped by lighter materials like hydrogen, making it ideal for inspecting components in the aerospace and defense industries.

Neutron Scattering

Researchers use Cf-252 in neutron scattering experiments to study the atomic and magnetic structures of materials. This is essential in fields such as condensed matter physics, chemistry, and materials science, providing insights into the properties of various substances.

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NASA & Space

NASA has used Cf-252 neutron sources in specialized equipment to study the long-term effects of radiation in space. A portable and powerful neutron emitter, Cf-252 can also withstand high temperatures and a range of environmental conditions, making it a practical choice for space-based research.

Educational Uses of Cf-252

Some large research universities, including MIT, Cal Tech, and others, house research reactors to study nuclear physics, chemical composition of materials, and radiopharmaceuticals, and other medical applications. These reactors also serve an educational purpose, giving students valuable high-tech, hands-on experience. Cf-252 neutron sources and nuclear startup rods can be used in these reactors to trigger the initial nuclear chain reaction or to restart a reactor that has been taken offline.


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Uses in Nuclear Physics Research

Cf-252’s neutron-emitting properties make it an essential tool in nuclear physics research, facilitating the study of fission reactions and the synthesis of new elements. In the academic world, universities incorporate Cf-252 into their research programs to educate students about nuclear reactions, radioactive decay, and the properties of materials. This hands-on experience is invaluable for students pursuing careers in nuclear physics, materials science, and related fields.


How Frontier Can Support Your Research

In conclusion, Californium-252’s unique properties and capabilities make it a vital resource in scientific research, education, and various industrial applications. Its role in advancing our understanding of the world at both macroscopic and microscopic levels underscores the importance of investing in nuclear science and related fields. Frontier supplies private, public, and government research facilities around the world with Cf-252 neutron sources for a variety of research needs.


About Frontier Technology Corporation

Frontier Technology Corporation (FTC) is the world leader in californium-252 neutron source manufacturing and design, and is the foremost expert in logistics and shipping of radioactive material. Founded in 1984 by Treva Janzow and the late Edward Janzow, Frontier Technology is located in Xenia, Ohio. Frontier Technology has over 40 years industry experience in providing the highest-quality neutron sources, PINS sources, nuclear start-up rods, TYPE-A shipping containers, WEP shielding, and antimony-beryllium pellets.