The tritium recycling system for the Neutrino Mass Experiment at Texas (NEXTEX)
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For decades people have tried to measure the rest masses of the neutrinos, but this quest has not yet been successful. The most commonly used method to determine the rest mass of the electron anti-neutrino is to measure the high energy end of the tritium beta decay spectrum. Various experiments suffered from conceptional problems, so that currently only an upper limit of 2.3 eV is known for the rest mass of the electron anti-neutrino. The Neutrino Experiment at the University of Texas (NEXTEX) has been thoroughly designed to avoid many problems that have been encountered in former attempts to measure the rest mass. The goal of NEXTEX is to lower the upper limit to less than 0.8 eV and by doing so possibly measure the rest mass of the electron anti-neutrino for the first time. The tritium recycling system is an important part of this experiment and the purpose of this thesis is not only to describe this recycling system in detail, but also to provide information about various potential problems that might arise and how they have been solved. These potential problems include catalysts, unwanted surface reactions and the solubility of tritium in Fomblin. The latter has just recently been investigated and a great deal of attention will therefore be dedicated to the presentation of the latest results.