CNT-Based Gas Ionizer to Replace Radioactive Sources
In the recent past, government agencies from the US and other foreign countries have recognized the problem of orphaned radioactive sources worldwide. Such sources pose a security risk in the form of potential material for a ¿dirty bomb¿ or other illicit applications. We propose to replace Ni-63 beta emitters with a carbon nanotube based electric field ionization source. This CNT-based ionization source will be useful for a whole class of devices that currently use radioactive materials for gas ionizers. This CNT gas ionizer will be a nearly one-for-one replacement for the Ni-63, requiring only minor additional driver electronics to operate the source. The CNT ionizer will operate over a wide temperature range (-50 ºC to +100 ºC is expected). The source can be designed to fit almost any size and shape needed for the analytical instrument.
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