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Thorium silicate compound as a solid-state target for production of isomeric thorium-229 nuclei by electron beam irradiation
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In this paper, we discuss an idea of the experiment for excitation of the isomeric transition in thorium-229 nuclei by irradiating with electron beam targets with necessary physical characteristics. The chemical composition and bandgap of ThSi10O22 were determined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy. It was found that the energy gap is equal to 7.7 eV and does not change when the target is exposed to a medium energy electron beam for a long time. This indicates that the compound possesses high electron-beam resistance. A quantitative estimation of the output function of isomeric thorium-229 nuclei generated by interaction of nuclei with the secondary electron flow formed by irradiating the solid-state ThSi10O22-based target is given. The estimation shows that ThSi10O22 is a promising thorium-containing target for investigating excitation of the nuclear low-lying isomeric transition in the thorium-229 isotope using medium-energy electrons.
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