Development of special rotor for centrifugal separation of isotopes in solid pure metals

Rev Sci Instrum. 2009 Aug;80(8):083908. doi: 10.1063/1.3184762.


A prototype rotor with two grooves for the multistage centrifugal isotope separation in solid state was developed to test a new idea. This idea is based on the sedimentation of constitutional atoms in solid. In the performance test using indium specimen, it is verified that the developed rotor can receive all injected molten-indium droplets from an automatic raw-material feeding system even at the high rotational speed of 97,000 rpm without the loss of rotational stability, and the received indium specimens can be transferred in/between two grooves through the plastic flow under the influence of strong centrifugal force even in the solid state. The isotope ratio of centrifuged indium specimens was analyzed employing the secondary ion mass spectrometry, and it is confirmed that intended isotope separation by the centrifugation is realized in the solid state. The developed rotor can be used to perform the isotope separation on at least solid metals under the conditions of up to 400 degrees C in specimen temperature and 0.4x10(6)g in centrifugal force field.