The autoradioluminescence of uranyl salts. A new luminescence emission standard for 500 - 600 nm

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The autoradioluminescence (ARL) from uranyl ion (less than 0.2 M) arises exclusively via β emission from 238U daughters 234Th and 234Pa). Dilute aqueous solutions of uranyl nitrate freed from these daughters show no spontaneous light emission, but the steady state luminescence is exponentially re-established with the 24 day half-life of 234Th as originally described in the classic work of Rutherford and Soddy. However, concentrated solutions and solid uranyl nitrate also luminesce from α stimulation. The spectral distribution of the ARL from uranyl nitrate at λ > 400 nm in aqueous solution is identical to that of UO22+ fluorescence. The ARL of "aged" uranyl nitrate is linear in concentration (less than 0.2 M) in a number of solvents, and is invariant from preparations stored for several months. These solutions are useful for calibration of instruments where very low light levels are involved. © 1990.

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Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, A: Chemistry