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A preliminary investigation into the use of molecular oxide and hydride secondary ion relationships for improvement of the 23...

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Scientific Reports
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A NanoSIMS 50L is used to investigate uranium molecular (235U16O, 236U16O, 238U16O, 235U1H, 238U1H, 236U16O1H, and 238U16O1H) and elemental (235U, 236U, and 238U) secondary ion production during sputtering of synthetic UO2 and the NIST-610 standard to determine if: (1) the 236U16O/238U16O molecular oxide ratio performs better than the 236U/238U elemental ratio, and (2) there is co-variance between the molecular hydrides and oxides. Despite an order of magnitude greater abundance of 236U16O secondary ions (compared to 236U), the 236U16O/238U16O ratios are less accurate than the 236U/238U ratios. Further work is needed before the higher count rate of the 236U16O secondary ion can be used to obtain a better 236U/238U ratio. The second objective was undertaken because correction for the interference of 235U1H on the 236U secondary ion species typically utilizes the 238U1H/238U ratio. This becomes problematic in samples containing 239Pu, so our aim was to understand if the hydride formation rate can be constrained independently of having to measure the 238U1H. We document correlations between the hydride (238U1H and 238U16O1H) and oxide (236U16O) secondary ions, suggesting that pursuing an alternative correction regime is worthwhile.