Elemental Neutron Analysis
NAA – Neutron Activation Analysis is a sensitive multi-element analytical technique used for both qualitative and quantitative analysis of major, minor, trace and rare elements. Impinging neutron beam creates artificial radioisotopes of the elements present, which decay with emission of gamma rays, which are characteristic of the element from which they were emitted. NAA can detect up to 74 elements depending upon the experimental procedure, with minimum detection limits ranging from 0.1 to 1×106 ng g−1 depending on element under investigation. Heavier elements have larger nuclei, therefore they have a larger neutron capture cross-section and are more likely to be activated. This entails that metal artifacts are the ideal sample for this type of analysis.
NRCA – Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis Quantitative analysis of isotopes by prompt gamma emission induced by nuclear resonances is triggered by epithermal neutrons. It allows for elemental and isotopic analysis for several elements. It is characterized by a very high sensitivity (ppb) for trace elements important in bronze analysis (Sb, Ag, Au, As).