64Cu enrichment using the Szilard-Chalmers effect – The influence of γ-dose

J. L.T.M. Moret, T. A. Hardens, O. van Batenburg, H. T. Wolterbeek, J. R. van Ommen, A. G. Denkova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Cu is an important trace metal which plays a role in many biological processes. The radioisotope 64Cu is often used to study such processes. Furthermore, 64Cu finds applications in cancer diagnostics as well as therapy. For all of these applications 64Cu having high specific activity is needed. 64Cu can be produced in cyclotrons or in nuclear reactors. In this paper we study the effect of gamma dose on the production of 64Cu according to the Szilard-Chalmers reaction using Cu(II)-phthalocyanine as a target. For this purpose, irradiations were performed in the nuclear reactor of the Delft University of Technology using a novel irradiation facility helping to limit the dose produced by gammas present in the reactor pool. The obtained 64Cu activity yield was in general above 60% in accordance to the theoretical expected value. An increase in gamma dose has no significant influence on the obtained activity yield but increases the loss of Cu from Cu(II)-phthalocyanine up to 0.9% and hence decreases the specific activity that can be obtained. However, without optimisation, when reducing the gamma dose specific activities in the order of 30 TBq/g can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109135
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cu
  • Cu-phthalocyanine
  • Gamma dose influence
  • High specific activity
  • Szilard-Chalmers reaction


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