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Cold-Neutron Depth Profiling as a Research Tool for the Study of Surface Oxides on Metals



Robert G. Downing, Z Tun, J.J. Noel, Th Bohdanowicz, L.R. Cao


A recent experiment at NIST has demonstrated that neutron depth profiling (NDP) based on (n,α) reaction could be developed into a tool routinely used for the study of passive oxides on metals. Whereas most metals are not (n,α) active, oxides grown with 17O, the only (n,α) active oxygen isotope, can be observed and tracked by this technique. Problems due to contamination of the samples by boron were encountered, but were shown to be surmountable. Particularly to our samples, the NDP facility at NIST, as it exists today, has enough flux and energy resolution to separate the particles emitted by 17O from those by 10B. Substantial improvement in the data collection rate, easily achievable with arrays of additional detectors, will make NDP a unique tool in the study of passive oxides.
Canadian Journal of Physics


Titanium, Oxidation, oxide growth, metal surface, Neutron Dept Profiling, NDP, X-ray


Downing, R. , Tun, Z. , Noel, J. , Bohdanowicz, T. and Cao, L. (2010), Cold-Neutron Depth Profiling as a Research Tool for the Study of Surface Oxides on Metals, Canadian Journal of Physics (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created October 7, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017