Isotopic variations of Sm, Gd, Er and Yb found in planetary materials caused by neutron-capture reactions in natureOPEN ACCESS 

Hiroshi Hidaka

Journal of Analytical Science and Technology
Volume 15, article number 14


“The isotopic shifts of 149Sm–150Sm and 157Gd–158Gd have often been observed in meteorites and lunar surface materials, because they result from the neutron-capture reactions associated with secondary neutrons produced by cosmic-ray irradiation. While the Sm and Gd isotopic shifts can mainly be used for the estimation of thermal neutron fluences that of 167Er–168Er has recently been applied in the estimation of epithermal neutron fluences. The systematic isotopic dataset of Sm, Gd and Er helps us to consider the details of planetary materials’ cosmic-ray exposure conditions using the balance of the fluences between thermal and epithermal neutrons. This paper reviews a series of isotopic variations of Sm, Gd, and Er in association with neutron-capture reactions for the application of planetary sciences. As a new attempt and possibility for better understanding the neutron fluence and its energy distribution, the use of Yb isotopic variation is then discussed using two different data sources, namely lunar regolith and the Oklo natural reactors. Finally, the preliminary result for the precise isotopic measurement of Yb is presented from the viewpoint of chemical separation and instrumental improvement.”