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Dry Distillation of Radioiodine from TeO2 Targets

Author(s): Jesper Fonslet | Jacek Koziorowski

Journal: Applied Sciences
ISSN 2076-3417

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 675;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: cyclotron | radioiodine | production | distillation | iodine-124 | tellurium dioxide

As medical cyclotrons are becoming more abundant, 123I and 124I are getting more attention as alternatives to 131I for diagnostics of thyroid disease. Both 123I and 124I provide better diagnostics, deliver less dose to patients and both reduce the risk of thyroid stunning, facilitating subsequent therapy. Dry distillation of radioiodine from tellurium dioxide targets has become the standard approach to producing these radioiodines. Setting up such a production of radioiodine is associated with a lengthy optimization of the process and for this purpose natural tellurium is often used for economical reasons. In this paper, the distillation parameters are scrutinized to ensure optimal distillation temperature, in order to minimize time spent and prevent loss of expensive target material. It is further demonstrated how the individual iodine isotopes, produced from proton bombardment of natTe, will diffuse out of the target in a time dependent ratio. We believe the effect is due to the isotopes having their maximum cross section at different energies. The individual isotopes produced will thus have their highest concentration at different depths in the target. This results in individual mean diffusion lengths and diffusion times for the different isotopes.
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