Accelerator-based photoproduction of promising beta-emitters 67Cu and 47Sc
In this paper we discuss our experimental work in photoproducing two medically-useful radioisotopes (68Zn(γ,p) 67Cu and 48Ca(γ,n)47Ca → 47Sc) using an electron linear accelerator. We further address the issues of production and separation of medical isotopes arising from photoneutron (γ,n) and photoproton (γ,p) reactions. While (γ,n) reactions typically result in greater yields, separating product nuclides from the target is challenging since the chemical properties of both nuclides are identical. Although the yields of (γ,p) reactions are typically lower than for (γ,n), these proton-rich isotopes have the advantage that target and product nuclides belong to different chemical species allowing for more straightforward chemical separation. We conclude the paper by touching upon the dire necessity of experimentally revisiting a broad swath of photonuclear reactions in the 10- to 50-MeV regime. The very paucity of empirical cross-sectional data makes it altogether impossible to realistically predict accelerator-based photoproduction of many promising radiopharmaceuticals.
KeywordsRadioisotopes Photonuclear production Electron linac
We thank KC Bindu and Shraddha Rane for their work on performing the gamma spectroscopy analysis on the Zn and CaCl2 samples. We further are very grateful to the Idaho Accelerator Center staff for delivering beam for these experiments. This work was funded, in part, through the IGEM (Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission) program and through the Department of Energy Grant DE-SC0002417.
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