Exploiting Radioactive Isotopes: from Pollutant Tracking to Solid State Studies Using a Combined Ab Initio and PAC Approach


In this review we present examples of using radioactive isotopes as probes to study functional materials of fundamental and applied interest presenting colossal magnetoresistance, multiferroic effects, and magnetostructural coupling. Most of the works exploit the hyperfine properties, Electric Field Gradient (EFG) and Hyperfine Magnetic Field (HMF), of these probes through Perturbed Angular Correlation (PAC) spectroscopy. The measurements were complemented with density functional theory calculations to model the relevant properties and correlate the EFG with the electric polarization. We also present a methodological and nuclear physics related contribution consisting on the characterization of a new short-lived isotope adequate for PAC studies. Finally, an ultra-sensitive method to quantify the uptake of Hg by nano sorbents based on the tracking the radioactive isotopes of mercury is also reviewed. These works showcase the diversity of our research with radioisotopes, at the interface of different science fields, with combination of different methodologies and different motivations such as fundamental materials physics and chemistry or environmental concerns.



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Amorim, CO; Goncalves, JN; Amaral, VS

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The work here reviewed results from the collaborations at ISOLDE and has been funded by FCT through several projects, for several years, the most recent CERN/FIS/PAR/0005/2017. The fundamental contribution of many colleges is gratefully acknowledged: J. G. Correia, J. P. Araujo, A. M. L. Lopes, J. S. Amaral, T. M. Mendonca, A. C. S. Lourenco, F. G. Figueiras, A. S. Fenta, A. Baghizadeh, P. M. Vaghefi, J. C. Soares, M. R. da Silva, J. M. Vieira, P. B. Tavares, H. Haas, J. Roder, C. B. Lopes, T. Trindade, L. M. C. Pereira, K. Johnston. This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 and UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. FCT is also acknowledged for grants SFRH/BD/93336/2013 (C.O.A.), and SFRH/BPD/82059/2011 (J.N.G.).

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