Intense radioluminescence of NO/N2-mixture in solar blind spectral region

Thomas Kerst, Juha Toivonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Luminescence in air induced by alpha particle emitters can be used to optically detect radioactive contamination from distances that surpass the range of the alpha radiation itself. Alpha particles excite nitrogen molecules in air and the relaxation creates a faint light emission. When the composition of the gases surrounding the alpha particle emitter is altered then the luminescence spectrum changes. In this work, we report the creation of an intense light emission in the wavelength regime below 300 nm originating from alpha particle excited nitric oxide (NO). The light yield has been investigated as a function of the NO concentration in an N2 atmosphere. Unlike the emission from molecular nitrogen, NO emits at wavelengths shorter than 300 nm, where solar background and artificial lighting are negligible, thus enabling optical detection of alpha radiation even under bright lighting conditions. We show that the radioactively induced NO emission reaches its maximum intensity at a concentration of 50 ppm of NO diluted in N2. At this concentration, the strongest emission line of NO is about 25 times more intense than the most intense line of N2 radioluminescence. Lastly, we discuss potential applications and limitations of the technique.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)33764-33771
    Number of pages8
    JournalOptics Express
    Volume26
    Issue number26
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2018
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intense radioluminescence of NO/N<sub>2</sub>-mixture in solar blind spectral region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this