In-situ characterization of lanthanide electrodepositions

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Phelps, Clarice

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The electrodeposition process has been the standard method for producing actinide and lanthanide thin films for decades. The major benefits of the technique include high reproducibility, simple equipment set up, and high material utilization. The latter is important when producing actinide thin films of rare materials, which is the case for many actinide thin film targets for Super Heavy Element (SHE) research. Many techniques besides electrodeposition have been used for non-radioactive lanthanides and have shown to be most useful for radioactive lanthanides as well as enriched stable lanthanides due to the amount of available material. Despite its use for several decades, there is still a significant amount that is unknown about the actinide electrodeposition process. Consequently, it has become apparent that a deeper understanding of the electrodeposition process is necessary to produce films with improved properties. For example, greater adhesion could increase the lifetime of thin film targets irradiated on high current particle accelerators. For this reason, there are ongoing efforts to gain an understanding of the actinide electrodeposition process utilizing in-situ characterization techniques of lanthanide depositions. For rare actinide thin films, a lanthanide surrogate is desired to understand the morphology of the deposited material without depleting the amount of the rare actinide desired. This master’s thesis project will focus on the development of optical spectroscopy techniques for online monitoring of the electrodeposition process as well as address the proposed chemical form for the deposition of a lanthanide, and in turn, actinide electrodeposition


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