Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 307, Issue 3, pp 1841–1846 | Cite as

On the formation of non-radioactive copper during the production of 64Cu via proton and deuteron-induced nuclear reactions on enriched 64Ni targets

  • Ferenc SzelecsényiEmail author
  • Gideon F. Steyn
  • Zoltán Kovács


Routine production of 64Cu commonly exploits the 64Ni(p,n) or 64Ni(d,2n) reactions. Above specific threshold energies, however, non-radioactive 63Cu and/or 65Cu are also co-produced. The non-radioactive (cold) Cu can significantly decrease the specific activity (SA) of 64Cu-labelled radiopharmaceuticals. Based on nuclear model calculations for the formation of non-radioactive Cu isotopes, theoretical specific activities (TSA) for 64Cu were estimated. Reported current production methods, however, often yield SA values that are lower than the corresponding TSA predictions by more than an order of magnitude. Most of the non-radioactive Cu causing this has been found to originate from sources other than co-production, indicating that there is still significant potential for method improvement.


64Ni target Proton and deuteron reactions ALICE 2014 calculations TENDL 2014 library Non-radioactive Cu formation Specific activity of 64Cu 



The Hungarian authors wish to thank the financial support by the Hungarian Research Foundation, (Budapest, OTKA K108669).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferenc Szelecsényi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gideon F. Steyn
    • 2
  • Zoltán Kovács
    • 1
  1. 1.Cyclotron Application DepartmentInstitute for Nuclear Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, ATOMKIDebrecenHungary
  2. 2.iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based SciencesSomerset WestSouth Africa

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