Ion Track Technology

PhysicsConsult

Reimar Spohr

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Scanning Electron Microscope Analysis of Etch Pits Obtained in a Muscovite Mica Track Detector by Etching in Hydro-Fluoric Acid and Aqueous Solutions of NaOH and KOH. H.A. Khan, N.A. Khan, R. Spohr. Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B, vol. 189, pp. 577 - 581 (1981).

Until now, mica solid state nuclear track detectors (SSNTD) have almost always been etched in hydrofluoric acid. We have made some successful attempts to reveal the latent damage trails in Muscovite mica by etching it in boiling solutions of 6N NaOH and 6N KOH. The hexagonal etch pits so obtained have been found to go through interesting variations in their size, shape, and geometry with the change of the etching conditions. Both optical and scanning electron microscopes have been employed in these studies. The results suggest that the detectors when etched under optimized conditions would be extremely useful in getting "long" and "round" shaped etched channels for their applications as "nuclear filters". A comparative study of etchings carried out in HF and 6N NaOH has also been made.

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