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Combinatorial study of thin film metal hydride by prompt gamma activation analysis


Cold neutron prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) was used to determine the mass of hydrogen in Mg hydride thin films with varying hydrogenation times. The results suggest that hydrogenation of the Mg thin films remains unsaturated even after 48 h of treatment, contrary to the indications of inferential hydrogen measurement methods. To demonstrate PGAA as an effective combinatorial methodology for hydride thin films, a continuously varying composition gradient of thin MgyTi(1−y) hydride film with y ranging from 0.65 to 0.94 was prepared and analyzed by both PGAA and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). The variation in the molar ratio of Mg, Ti, and H was obtained for nine 5 mm wide segments of the film.

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    Certain trade names and company products are identified in order to adequately describe the experimental procedure. In no case does such identification imply, recommendation, or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the products are necessarily the best for the purpose.


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The author would like to thank Elizabeth Mackey for the helpful discussion and Richard Lindstrom for his prompt help with instruments whenever it was needed.

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Correspondence to L. R. Cao.

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Cao, L.R., Hattrick-Simpers, J.R., Bindel, R. et al. Combinatorial study of thin film metal hydride by prompt gamma activation analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 283, 63–68 (2010).

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  • Thin film
  • Combinatorial
  • Metal hydride
  • Hydrogen storage
  • IR emissivity
  • Cold neutron
  • NAA
  • Prompt gamma activation analysis
  • Instrumental neutron activation analysis