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Nuclear and Radiation Physics

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Introduction



The Radiation Physics Laboratory was established in 2007 in the Department of Physics, CIIT, Islamabad under the funding of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). The main objective of the RPL was to pursue the research and development work first at the CIIT level and then strengthening of research infrastructure for science and technological development by making collaborations with different research institutes/universities of the country. Therefore, a well-equipped and standard research laboratory was established for taking research and development work in the field of Radiation Physics and its related subjects.

Research Facilities in RPL

HPGe Spectrometer

A High resolution gamma ray spectrometry system composed of a computer based multichannel analyzer and a High Purity Germanium (N-type) coaxial detector having:

Relative efficiency = approx. 50% 
Active volume = 200 cm3 
Resolution = 2.0 keV at 1332 keV of 60Co

Applications:

  • Neutron activation analysis
  • Soil Sciences & Archaeology
  • Geology
  • Environment Analysis
  • Semiconductor Industry

NAI(TI) Gamma Ray Spectrometer

A 3x3 inches gamma ray spectrometer with computer based multi-channel analyzer equipped with latest technologies both in software & hardware is available. The spectrometer gives absolute information about x-ray energies, strength and its identification emitted from an unknown source.

Appliocation

  • Environmental Studies of Radiation
  • Prompt Neutron Activation Analysis

Alpha-Detection Spectrometer

A vacuum system & vacuum chamber with the related electronics & surface barrier detector is available for alpha particles spectroscopy.

Applications

  • Spectroscopy of Alpha Particle-Emitters
  • (n, α) Reaction Studies

Thermo-Luminescence Dosimeter (TLD)

A TLD reader is available for the TLD work. The system is equipped with the PC based software for the data acquisition, record measurement and dose calculation. The quick start opens an analysis file to make a TLD measurement. The software can indicate high dose flag to the operator.

Radon Detection System (RAD-7)

Main specifications of RAD-7

  • Measurement of radon in air, soil and water.
  • True, real time continuous gas monitoring.
  • Fast response radon gas sniffer.
  • Ultra fast thoron gas sniffer.
  • Grab sample protocol.
  • Emission measurements, both open and closed loop.

Automatic Measuring System (AUTOSCAN)

Automatic Image Analysis “AutoScan” is available for:

  • Radiation physics (neutron, proton & heavy ions)
  • Calibrations of NTDs ( p, α-particles & Z/β≥ 5)
  • Heavy ions fragmentation studies (relativistic and fast ions)
  • Cosmic ray particle detections
  • Fission track dating
  • Personal & Environmental Dosimetry (radon & neutron)

Additional Facilities in RPL

  • CR-39 & Makrofol NTDs exposed to relativistic & fast heavy ions (@CERN, @BNL (USA), @HIMAC (Japan) etc
  • Optical microscopes
  • Annealing Furnace (Range up to 1200 oC)
  • BF3 Proportional Counter & GM Tubes
  • Air Sample

Research Activities in RPL

Environmental Studies

Rocks, soils and minerals contain natural radioactivity, which leads to the contamination of our environment. There are three sources that contribute towards the environmental radioactivity, and exposure to public. Keeping in view the hazards of radioactivity study regarding measurement of natural radioactivity present in the environment is being carried out in Radiation Physics Laboratory. Up till now studies regarding measurement of radioactivity in the following areas have been completed.

  • Margalla Hills Limstone, Islamabad.
  • Khewra Salt Mines
  • Mount Arafat, Mekka, Saudi Arabia
  • Lawrencepure Sand Deposits
  • Radioactivity in different brands of tea

Fission Track Dating

Fission Track Dating (FTD) is a radiometric dating technique based on analyses of the damage trails, or tracks, created by fission fragments in certain uranium-bearing minerals like zircon, sphene, apatite, mica and glasses. Fission-track dating is a relatively simple but robust method of radiometric dating that has made a significant impact on understanding the thermal history of continental crust, the timing of volcanic events, and the source and age of different archeological artifacts and tectonics of the rocks. It has a potential application in oil and gas exploration. Up till now following study has been completed;

  • Fission Track Dating of Mount Arafat, Mekkah, Saudi Arabia.

Synthesis, characterization and device fabricatication with nanomaterials and thin films

Focus will be on the fabrication and characterization of controlled nanowires of magnetic and semiconductor materials making use of irradiated NTDs by chemical deposition. Synthesis of semiconductor and magnetic nanomaterial’s by wet chemical routes. We would also like to develop greener routes to synthesize nanomaterials of different size and shapes. Thin films will be developed using CVD and template assisted growth.

TEM, SEM, AFM and XRD will be the main techniques deployed to observe the morphology of nanomaterials and thin films. These nanomaterials will be used to develop nanofilters, solar cells and biosensors.

Calibrations and Fragmentation studies of relativistic and fast heavy ions making use of CR-39 & Makrofol NTDs

The interaction and propagation of high-energy heavy ions in matter is a subject of much interest in the field of astrophysics, radiobiology and radiation protection. A precise and accurate description of the fragmentation during the passage of heavy ions in various targets is essential to understand the effects of the heavy ion component of the Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) on human in space, shielding against heavy ions originating from space radiations or accelerators, cosmic ray propagation etc. The partial nucleus-nucleus cross sections of high energy reactions are of great importance in therapeutic and diagnostic medicine.

Stacks composed of CR39 and Makrofol NTDs with different targets were exposed to relativistic and fast heavy ions at BNL (USA) and at HIMAC (Japan). Calibration of the PNTDs, Measurements of total and partial fragmentation cross sections, nuclear and electromagnetic contribution for heavy targets, study of odd –even effect, multiplicity of projectile fragments and to develop new methods for the detection of light ions (Z/ β ≤ 5).

BNL(USA) & HIMAC (Japan) Exposure setup

Graduate Radiation Physics Experiments

Gamma-Ray Detection and Spectroscopy

  1. Measurement of the Absorption Co-efficient using Geiger Muller Counter
  2. Equipment Available:
    • G.M. Tube
    • High Voltage Power Supply
    • Radioactive Sources
    • Counting System
    • Pb and Al absorbers
  3. Poisson Distribution- Statistics of Random Events
  4. Equipment Available:
    • High Voltage G.M. Tube
    • Power Supply
    • Radioactive Sources
    • Counting System
    • Pb and Al absorber
  5. Gamma Spectroscopy using NaI (Tl) Detector
    • Energy Calibration
    • Energy analysis of unknown source
    • Energy Resolution
    • Activity of unknown source
  6. Equipment Available:
    • NaI (Tl) detector Power Supply (0-5KV)
    • Preamplifier + Linear Amplifier
    • Multi Channel Analyzer
    • Assortment of important Radioactive Sources
    • Digital Oscilloscope
  7. Neutron Spectroscopy
    • Detection of neutrons with BF3 detector
    • To determine the plateau of neutron detector
    • Neutron activation analysis
    • To determine thermal neutron flux by various shielding materials
  8. Nuclear Track Measurement using NTDs (CR-39 & CN-85)
  9. Equipment Available:
    • Am- 241, α- emitter source
    • Plastic Detectors
    • Optical Microscope
    • Etching Facilities
  10. Measurement of Radon diffusion in different materials
  11. Equipment Available:
    • Radon Source
    • CR-39 & CN-85 NTDs
    • Optical Microscope
    • Etching Facilities

Members

Hameed Ahmed Khan

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Shahid Manzoor

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Group Leader: