Nuclear Science and Techniques

《核技术》(英文版) ISSN 1001-8042 CN 31-1559/TL     2019 Impact factor 1.556

Nuclear Science and Techniques ›› 2016, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (4): 96 doi: 10.1007/s41365-016-0094-6


Production of medical radioisotope 64Cu by photoneutron reaction using ELI-NP γ-ray beam

Wen Luo 1,2   

  1. 1 School of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, China
    2 Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP)/ ‘‘Horia Hulubei’’, National Institute for R&D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH), 30 Reactorului St., Bucharest-Magurele, jud. Ilfov, P.O.B. MG-6, 077125 Iasi, Ilfov, Romania
  • Contact: Wen Luo
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by Extreme Light Infrastructure-Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP)—Phase I, a project co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11405083) and the Young Talent Project of the University of South China.

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Wen Luo. Production of medical radioisotope 64Cu by photoneutron reaction using ELI-NP γ-ray beam.Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2016, 27(4): 96     doi: 10.1007/s41365-016-0094-6


Copper-64 is a radioisotope of medical interest that could be used for positron emission tomography imaging and targeted radiotherapy of cancer. In this work, we investigated the possibility of producing the 64Cu isotope through a 65Cu(γ,n) reaction using high-intensity γ-beams produced at the Extreme Light Infrastructure-Nuclear Physics facility (ELI-NP). The specific activity for 64Cu was obtained as a function of target geometry, irradiation time, and electron beam energy, which translates into γ-beam energy. Optimized conditions for the generation of 64Cu isotopes at the ELI-NP were discussed. We estimated that an achievable saturation specific activity is of the order of 1–2 mCi/g for thin targets (radius 1–2 mm, thickness 1 cm) and for a γ-beam flux of 1011 s−1. Based on these results, the ELI-NP could provide great potential for the production of some innovative radioisotopes of medical interest in sufficient quantities suitable for nuclear medicine research.

Key words: Copper-64, Medical radioisotope, Photoneutron reaction, ELI-NP