In analysis of complex nuclear forensic samples containing lanthanides, actinides and matrix elements, rapid selective extraction of Am/Cm for quantification is challenging, in particular due the difficult separation of Am/Cm from lanthanides. Here we present a separation process for Am/Cm(III) which is achieved using a combination of AG1-X8 chromatography followed by Am/Cm extraction with a triazine ligand. The ligands tested in our process were CyMe4-BTPhen, CyMe4-BTBP, CA-BTP and CA-BTPhen. Our process allows for purification and quantification of Am and Cm (recoveries 80%–100%) and other major actinides in <2d without the use of multiple columns or thiocyanate. The process is unaffected by high level Ca(II)/Fe(III)/Al(III) (10mg mL−1) and thus requires little pre-treatment of samples.
- selective sepn americium curium nuclear forensic matrix triazine ligand