Vacuum Chromatography of Tl on SiO 2 at the Single-Atom Level

Steinegger, Patrick; Asai, Masato; Dressler, Rugard; Eichler, Robert; Kaneya, Yusuke; Mitsukai, Akina; Nagame, Yuichiro; Piguet, Dave; Sato, Tetsuya K.; Schädel, Matthias; Takeda, Shinsaku; Toyoshima, Atsushi; Tsukada, Kazuaki; Türler, Andreas; Vascon, Alessio (2016). Vacuum Chromatography of Tl on SiO 2 at the Single-Atom Level. Journal of physical chemistry. C, 120(13), pp. 7122-7132. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b12033

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An isothermal vacuum chromatography setup for superheavy element chemistry studies was developed and tested online at the one-atom-at-a-time level. As a model system, the adsorption behavior of thallium on quartz was chosen with respect to a future chemical characterization of its superheavy homologue, element 113 (E113, Z = 113), using the described setup. Short-lived 184Tl (t1/2 = 10.1(5) s) was produced in the reaction 152Gd(35Cl, 3n)184Tl and delivered as a mass-separated ion beam to the chemistry experiment: A subsurface implantation and a subsequent fast thermal release from a metal matrix was followed by isothermal vacuum chromatography as the chemical separation stage. Single atomic species passing this chromatographic separation were finally identified by time- and energy-resolved event-by-event α-spectroscopy using a diamond-based solid-state detector. The derived adsorption enthalpy of −ΔHadsSiO2(Tl) = 158 ± 3 kJ·mol–1 significantly exceeds available data but correlates well with the adsorption of other elements studied on the same surface. The described technique enables chemical experiments with short-lived transactinide elements (t1/2 < 1 s), surpassing the rapidity of today’s state-of-the-art gas-phase experiments by at least 1 order of magnitude.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Steinegger, Patrick, Eichler, Robert, Türler, Andreas


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Chemical Society




Franziska Bornhauser-Rufer

Date Deposited:

19 Jan 2017 17:31

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:01

Publisher DOI:





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