Neutronenaktivierungsanalyse – NAA

Elemental Analysis with Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA)

The neutron activation analysis (NAA) is a multi-element method with which the majority of the elements of the periodic table can be analyzed in the ultratrace range. Depending on the element and matrix, the detection limits range up to 10-13 g/g down.


However, this enormous performance alone is not the sole advantage of the NAA. Rather, the process gains several properties that predestine it for the analysis of complex substances:


The main advantages of the NAA are

  • no chemical pretreatment necessary
  • conditionally non-destructive analysis
  • no matrix effects of chemical compounds
  • Securing the results by
    • characteristic emission lines
    • specific half-lives
    • simultaneous analysis of two isotopes
Glänzene Zahnräder aus Metall
Keim wächst aus Mineraldüngerkörnern

examples of use

  • Authenticity of art objects and artefacts by fingerprint comparison
  • Detection of impurities in ultrapure chemicals
  • Analysis of difficult environmental samples (fly ash, ash and geological material)
  • Composition of alloys, ceramics and glasses
  • Characterization of standards for analytical purposes
  • Elements in biomass and food
  • Trace elements in fertilizers, ores, minerals and salts
Farbpigmente in Porzellanschälchen

The type of excitation is of decisive importance for the quality of the investigations. The available neutron flow rate of 1014/cm2 is generated in a nuclear reactor and leaves nothing to be desired analytically.