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Production of Stable Isotopes

Modes of Production

H
He
Li
Be
B
C
N
O
F
Ne
Na
Mg
Al
Si
P
S
Cl
Ar
K
Ca
Sc
Ti
V
Cr
Mn
Fe
Co
Ni
Cu
Zn
Ga
Ge
As
Se
Br
Kr
Rb
Sr
Y
Zr
Nb
Mo
Tc
Ru
Rh
Pd
Ag
Cd
In
Sn
Sb
Te
I
Xe
Cs
Ba
*
Hf
Ta
W
Re
Os
Ir
Pt
Au
Hg
Tl
Pb
Bi
Po
At
Rn
Fr
Ra
**
 
*Lanthanides
La
Ce
Pr
Nd
Pm
Sm
Eu
Gd
Tb
Dy
Ho
Er
Tm
Yb
Lu
**Actinides
Ac
Th
Pa
U
Np
Pu
Am
Cm
Bk
Cf
Es
Fm
Md
No
Lr
     
 
      Calutron     Centrifuge (Bulk Production)     Photochemical  
 
     
  The three main methods for the production of stable isotopes are: distillation, centrifuge enrichment and electromagnetic enrichment (calutron). Distillation only works effectively when there is a large relative mass difference between the different isotopes of an element. Distillation is therefore only used in the separation of isotopes of light elements. Isotopes of elements such as He, Li, B and C are typically separated through distillation or diffusion. Centrifuge enrichment is the most cost effective method for separating the isotopes of elements that are too heavy for distillation. However, a suitable gaseous compound of the element is required and this is not always available. Typical isotopes that are produced through centrifuge enrichment are: Fe, Ni, Zn, Cd, Ge, Se, Te and W. The calutron is capable of enriching the isotopes of nearly all elements but it is costly to operate and only relatively small quantities can be produced. The calutron is used for the production of isotopes of Tl, Pd, Sr, Ca and the Lanthanide group.

Other methods such as laser enrichment, photo chemical enrichment and plasma separation are also occasionally used.

 
     
 
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