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New Potential Application of Depleted Uranium: Highly Sensitive Detection of Ionizing Radiations by a Photoluminescent Uranyl organic Framework

日期:2017-5-4 23:53:26 人气:68 

Precise detection of low dose X- and γ-radiations remains a challenge and is particularly important for studying biological effects under low dose ionizing radiation, safety control in medical radiation treatment, survey of environmental radiation background, and monitoring cosmic radiations. We report here a photoluminescent uranium organic framework, whose photoluminescence intensity can be accurately correlated with the exposure dose of X- or γ-radiations. This allows for precise and instant detection of ionizing radiations down to the level of 10-4 Gy, representing a significant improvement on the detection limit of approximately two orders of magnitude, compared to other chemical dosimeters reported up to now. The electron paramagnetic resonance analysis suggests that with the exposure to radiations, the carbonyl double bonds break affording oxo-radicals that can be stabilized within the conjugated uranium oxalate-carboxylate sheet. This gives rise to a substantially enhanced equatorial bonding of the uranyl(VI) ions as elucidated by the single crystal structure of the γ-ray irradiated material, and subsequently leads to a very effective photoluminescence quenching through phonon-assisted relaxation. The quenched sample can be easily recovered by heating, enabling recycled detection for multiple runs, further endowing depleted uranium a new promising application.