Radioactive Isotope Generator

Cs-137 and Ba-137M Isotope Generator

radioactive isotope generator

The Cs-137/Ba-137m isotope generator is designed for demonstrating the properties of radioactive decay. The isotope generator contains 10 μCi (370 kBq) of Cs-137 (± 20%).The isotope generator can produce up to 1000 small aliquots of the short lived isotope, Ba-137m (half-life: 2.6 minutes).A bottle containing 250 ml of eluting solutions is supplied with each isotope generator. Additional solution may be ordered separately.

How it Works

Cs-137 is a long-lived parent nuclide which has a half-life of 30.07 years and decays by the emission of beta radiation into the stable isotope Ba-137. This transition is completed either by direct conversion into stable Ba-137 (5.4 %) or via the metastable energy state of Ba-137m (94.6 %). Ba-137m has a half-life of 2.55 minutes and decays by isomeric transition, emitting a gamma ray (Eγ = 0.6617 MeV), into the stable isotope Ba-137.

The decay scheme of Cs-137 can be seen below.

Cs-137 decay schematic

The isotope generator contains up to 10 μCi (370 kBq) of Cs-137 bound on a special ion exchange medium. Using an eluting solution (which is forced through the isotope exchange column using a syringe) the Ba-137 is selectively extracted from the ion exchange medium leaving only the Cs-137. This process is called “milking the generator.”

All isotope generators have an uncertainty of ± 20%.  Activities will not exceed the U.S. NRC Exempt Quantity limit.

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