Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

John W. McClory, PhD.


This research verifies that neutron irradiation of zinc oxide leads to Cu-doping of the material by nuclear transmutation. After irradiation, both Zn-65 and Zn-69m were detected and positively identified. Zn-65 was visible at all times while Zn-69m was visible when the samples were measured within a few Zn-69m half-lifes. All decay paths of Zn-65 lead to Cu-65 and the detection of the 1115.5 keV characteristic gamma ray from this decay clearly indicated that Cu-65 was being created. Previous electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopic results were replicated to determine the spectrum of copper impurities in ZnO as well as the corresponding spacing between signals in the hyperfine spectrum for the two stable isotopes of copper. This spacing was found to be 1015 ± 1 G for Cu-65 and 947 ± 1 G for Cu-63. The separation of EPR signals in the Cu hyperfine spectrum measured after neutron irradiation of the samples was found to be 1013 ± 1 G confirming the creation of only Cu-65 during irradiation, as predicted by theory.

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