Nuclear Activation Analysis — A Versatile Nuclear Assay


Nuclear Activation Analysis — A Versatile Nuclear Assay 

Zaijing Sun, Assistant Professor sun

Nuclear Engineering Program

South Carolina State University


Nuclear Activation Analysis (NAA) is a multi-elemental nuclear assay that has high accuracy and extreme sensitivity. To make this radioanalytical technique more attractive and more competitive, we scrutinized the underlying nuclear physics, simulated the irradiating photon/neutron flux with Monto Carlo codes, derived a new activity equation for pulsed irradiation, considered the feasibility of absolute measurement, and implemented an online computer program to facilitate the calculations. To describe the application of NAA in real world, we discussed several cases involving environmental, biological, agricultural, and archeological samples. All the studies have led to some interesting results and demonstrated the promising future of this active nuclear assay.

Dr. Zaijing Sun is an assistant professor in the Nuclear Engineering Program at the South Carolina State University (SCSU). Before joining SCSU, he was a postdoc in the Low Energy Accelerator Facilities (LEAF) at the Argonne National laboratory. His research interests include gamma ray spectroscopy, Monte Carlo simulations, radiation physics, temporal data mining (TDM) in Neonatology, and medical isotope production.