Some Uses of Tritium in Autoradiography

  • J. Herbert Taylor


The advantages of tritium in autoradiography result primarily from two of its properties, the low energy of its β particles, and its half-life of 12.4 years. The β particles have an average energy of only 5.7 kev and a maximum path in water of about 6 μ. However, it is worth noting that only 0.05% of the β particles have energies in the range between 17 and 18 kev which produce these tracks that approach 6 μ [1]. Ninety percent of the radiation would be absorbed in the first 1.2 μ of a medium of unit density [2]. In a photographic emulsion with a density of 3.5, the flux of β particles would be reduced to 1% by 0.8 μ. Therefore, nearly all grains produced will be less than 1 μ from the source. The β particles will seldom activate more than one grain and a high percentage of the low-energy ones will yield none.


High Specific Activity Sister Chromatid Exchange Tritiated Thymidine Cell Renewal Label Precursor 
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Copyright information

© New England Nuclear Corporation 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Herbert Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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