Trace element analysis by neutron activation analysis (NAA)

Neutron activation analysis (NAA) is a highly sensitive, accurate technique used for quantitative analysis of major, minor, and trace elements. This multi-element method is suitable for solids, liquids, gases, mixtures and suspensions, requiring no, or minimal sample preparation. Neutron activation analysis has application in quality control programs testing for high purity (carbon/graphite, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, quartz semiconductors), difficult matrices (oils, plastics, textiles), and geological samples (coal, ore, rock, sediment).

What is neutron activation analysis?
Neutron activation analysis identifies and quantifies elements present in a sample by the analysis of characteristic gamma rays emitted during radioactive decay after being irradiated in a nuclear reactor.

Advantages of Trace Element by neutron activation analysis:

  • Acknowledged “referee method” – generally free of matrix effects or contamination from laboratory chemicals
  • No or minimal sample preparation making it amenable for analysis of complicated/difficult matrices
  • Multi-element analysis – one method can analyze 30+ elements
  • Analyzes total element content (vs. digestion procedures)
  • Sensitivity to parts-per-billion for specific elements
  • Milligram-sample analysis; where samples are precious or limited
  • Customizable analysis to meet customer’s precise needs

Applications of Trace Element by neutron activation analysis include:

  • Geological surveys
  • Iodine content of food
  • Impurity testing in semi-conductors
  • Additives and contaminants in oils & plastics
  • Halogen detection in manufacturing
  • Fluorine analysis in consumer products
  • Archaeological fingerprinting
  • Luminescence dating
  • Detection of silver used in medical products
  • Coal testing
  • Analysis of difficult/complicated matrices