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Y. Fazaeli, et al.: A New Approach to Targetry and Cyclotron Production of ...
Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection: Year 2014, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 28-33
Yousef FAZAELI 1*, Mohammadreza ABOUDZADEH1, Khosro AARDANEH1,
Tayyeb KAKAVAND 2, Fatemeh BAYAT 2, and Kamran YOUSEFI 1
Nuclear Medicine Research Group, Agricultural, Medical and Industrial Research School, Karaj, Iran
Faculty of Physics, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran
Scientific paper
DOI: 10.2298/NTRP1401028F
Titanium-45 with a half-life of 3.09 hours decays by emission of positrons (85%) and the electron capture process (15%).These properties make this radionuclide useful in the diagnosis of
tumors by positron emission tomography. In this study, after having considered the excitation
functions for the 45Sc(p, n)45Ti reaction using TALYS and ALICE/ASH codes and after the
comparison with other experimental data, 45Ti was produced by dint of the pressing method
and a newly designed and manufactured shuttle and capsule, resulting in an experimental
yield of 403.3 MBq/mAh. Essential target thickness and physical yield were calculated. The
scandium oxide target was irradiated at a 20 mA current and a 21 MeV proton beam energy
for 1 hour.
Key words: 45Ti, 45Sc, proton, excitation function, physical yield
with a half-life of 3.08 h is a positron-emitting radioisotope with a positron branching of 85%
and a decay of 15% by electron capture with E (b+max),
i. e., 1.04 MeV decays to 45Sc [1]. In the b+-decay process, the proton in the nucleus is transformed into a
neutron with the emission of a b+-particle and a neutrino. The range of the positron in the tissue is a few
millimeters, up to the moment it encounters its antiparticle, the electron. When that happens, the electron-positron pair is annihilated and transformed into
two oppositely directed 511 keV-photons. These photons can be detected by the coincidence technique
used in positron emission tomography (PET). Nuclear
medicine, particularly PET, is important in the diagnosis, treatment planning, and evaluation of the treatment response in patients with cancer, so a high
b+-yield, short half-life and a stable daughter make
45Ti a suitable candidate for PET imaging [2, 3].
As shown in fig. 1(a), there are four methods for
the production of a 45Ti radionuclide: (a) 45Sc(p,
n)45Ti, (b) 46Ti(p, n + p)45Ti, (c) 46Ti(n, 2n)45Ti, (d)
45Sc(d, 2n)45Ti [4-11]. According to fig.1(b) and (c),
to avoid isotopic impurities of 45Ti, the 45Sc(p, n)45Ti
method was employed. The aim of this study is to design and manufacture a new shuttle and capsule target
* Corresponding author; e-mail: [email protected]
for the direct production of 45Ti via a 45Sc (p, n)
45Ti-reaction by means of the pressing method. The
theoretical calculation of the physical yield and target
thickness were done by using the stopping and range
of ions in matter (SRIM) Code [12]. To determine the
aberration amount of the acquired and experimental
data, they were compared with each other.
The production of 45Ti was performed at the Nuclear Medicine Research Group (AMIRS) 30 MeV cyclotron (Cyclone-30, IBA). Chemicals and alloys were
purchased from the Aldrich Chemical Co. (Germany),
and ion-exchange resins from Bio-Rad Laboratories
(Canada). The radioactivity of the sample was determined by counting a CanberraTM high-purity germanium
detector (HPGe, model GC1020-7500SL) and a CRC
Capintech Radiometer was used for activity measurements of the samples. All simulation studies were done
by SolidWorks 2010 software [13].
According to all calculation methods using ALICE, TALYS, and ALICE/ASH codes shown in fig. 1
Y. Fazaeli, et al.: A New Approach to Targetry and Cyclotron Production of ...
Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection: Year 2014, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 28-33
Figure 1. Ti-45 radioisotope production based on calculations by the TALYS code for all possible reactions (45Sc(p, n)45Ti,
(b) 46Ti(p, n + p)45Ti, (c) 46Ti(n, 2n)45Ti, (d) 45Sc(d, 2n)45Ti) and the evaluation of possible impurities resulting from these reactions [4-11] (a); 45Sc(p, n)45Ti reaction calculated by the ALICE/ASH code in order to evaluate possible impurities (b);
Sc(p, n)45Ti reaction calculated by the TALYS code in order to evaluate possible impurities (c); and comparison of the
calculated excitation function of 45Sc(p, n)45Ti reaction by the TALYS and ALICE/ASH code to experimental code (d)
[14-21], the 45Sc(p, n) 45Ti method had the best reaction due to the capacity of our cyclotron machine in
which the proton energy beam is within the range
of less than 30 MeV and the best range of energy is
5-14 MeV.
The following equation was used to calculate the
physical yield of nuclear reactions in this study
æ dE ö
÷ s ( E ) dE
Y = L I (1- e - lt ) çç
d ( rx ) ÷ø
where Y [MBq/mAh] is the yield product, NL – the
Avogadro's number, H [%] – the isotope abundance of
the target nuclide, M [g] – the mass number of the target element , s(E) [mb] (1 mb = 10–31 m2) – the
cross-section at energy E, I [mA] – the projectile current, dE/d(rx) [MeVmg–1cm2] – the stopping power, l
[h–1] – the decay constant of the product, and t [h] – the
time of irradiation. The cross-sections are calculated
by TALYS and ALICE/ASH codes and the stopping
power of projectile particles in the target material is
calculated by the SRIM code [10].
In this study, a specific shuttle is required for the
bombardment of the capsule target (fig. 2). The shuttle
is designed in such a manner that a water layer with a
thickness of 1 mm is situated in front of it, while a layer
of the same thickness is situated at the back (fig. 3)
Water with an outlet mass flow of 0.75 kg/s is
used for target cooling, so that part of the energy is
consumed through the water and aluminum foil used
to separate the target material (Sc2O3) from the aqueous environment. Thus, the proton beam lost a part of
its initial energy in the aqueous environment. The
wasted energy was obtained by the interpolation of
projected range-energy curves (fig. 4).
As the energy of the proton entering the Sc2O3
layer should be 14 MeV, proton energy after passing
the aluminum layer with a thickness of 200 um should
also be 14 MeV. The corresponding projected range to
14 MeV is 1122.25 µm. The thickness of the water
layer located in front of the aluminum is 1 mm. The en-
Y. Fazaeli, et al.: A New Approach to Targetry and Cyclotron Production of ...
Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection: Year 2014, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 28-33
Figure 2. Schematic picture and snapshot of the shuttle
Table 1. Calculated energy and projected range in Sc2O3,
H2O, and Al layers
H 2O
H 2O
Energy [MeV]
Projected range [mm]
Figure 3. Schematic picture of the target capsule
Figure 4. Projected range-energy curves for Sc2O3, H2O,
and Al
ergy of the protons coming out of the water layer
should, therefore, also amount to 15.36 MeV. The projected ranges in each environment and their corresponding energies are mentioned in tab. 1.
Making use of existing facilities, among the possibilities to produce 45Ti, we have employed the 45Sc
(p, n)45Ti reaction in order to test target preparation.
Medical application requires a highly enriched 45Sc
target. The natural Sc target was prepared by the stack
foil technique reported by Folkesson for 3-6 MeV[1]
and a 7 mm × 7 mm titanium foil (Alfa Aesar), used for
processing the Sc target for proton bombardment at
14.5 MeV by Vavere et al., [22]. In this study, we have
employed the pressing technique to prepare the natSc
For the preparation of the target, scandium-oxide powder should be formed as a pellet. Thus, 360 mg
of Sc2O3 powder were pressed at 50-60 bar by a hydraulic jack and the prepared pellet then put into an
aluminum shield for bombardment.
The proton of 21.08 MeV comes out of the beam
line, loses 2.68 MeV of its energy in the first aluminum
layer (0.5 mm) and enters the water with a charge of
18.40 MeV. About 3.04 MeV of the beam energy is
wasted in this environment before the proton enters
the aluminum foil (0.2 mm) with a charge of 15.36
MeV and, upon entry, loses 1.36 MeV before finally
reaching the scandium oxide with a charge of 14 MeV.
As shown in fig. 5, thermal simulations for the shuttle
and target capsule determine that the maximum heat
values for the beam power of about 300 W on the target
capsule are 384.2 K (front) and 338.2 K (back).The
maximum heat resistance for beam power of about
Y. Fazaeli, et al.: A New Approach to Targetry and Cyclotron Production of ...
Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection: Year 2014, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 28-33
HNO3 was added to ensure the oxidation of the 45Ti to
the + 4 state. Then, the solution was evaporated to dryness and dissolved in 6 m HC1, again. The step was repeated three times in order to completely remove
HNO3. The 45Ti dissolved in 2 mL of 6 M HCI was
loaded on an AG 50 W ´ 8 column (100-200 mesh,
Bio-Rad, 1 cm i. d. ´ 18 cm) prewashed with 6 M HCI.
45Ti was then eluted with 6 M HC1, while the scandium was eluted with 4 M HC1 containing 0.1 M HF.
After the drying of the 45Ti fraction, 45Ti was dissolved
in 1 mL-2 mL of 1 M HCI.
The radioactivity of the sample was determined
non-destructively, using high-resolution HPGe detectors. The distance from the sample to the detector was
30 cm, counting time adjusted according to the
half-life of the product nuclide so as to get a reasonable
counting statistic. All the major gamma lines of the resulting radionuclide were identified. 45Ti activity was
determined using a 720 keV g-ray (fig. 6). Note that the
720 keV g-ray has the highest I g [%] in gammas from
45Ti. The 511 keV g-ray cannot be used in calculation
due to the Doppler Broadening Effect which results in
an incorrect width of the peak. Detector efficiency for
the target material is set based on a container with a
fixed geometry that includes one drop of the final
product in 10 ml of the solvent.
Figure 5. Schematic picture of the maximum heat
resistance for beam power of about 300 W on the target,
front (a) and back (b), and the aluminum window (c)
1000 W on the aluminum window is also calculated
and the maximum heat value determined to amount to
about 563 K, far from the melting point of aluminum
(933.47 K) (fig. 5).
Irradiation was carried out at the agricultural,
medical, and industrial research school (AMIRS) by
means of a Cyclone-30 (IBA, Belgium) cyclotron machine. The Sc2O3 capsule was used as a target and
bombarded with 21 MeV protons at a current of 20 mA
per 1 hour.
Upon successful irradiation, the scandium-oxide
pellet was dissolved in 2.5 mL of concentrated HCI to
give 45TiC14, upon which a drop of concentrated
Figure 6. g-ray spectrum of proton-irradiated Sc2O3
after separation of 45Ti from 45Sc
The only stable isotope of natural scandium can
transmute to a titanium-45 radioisotope through the
45Sc(p, n)45Ti reaction. In this work, the scandium-oxide capsule target was prepared using the pressing
method. According to calculation, a thick target of
800 µm was bombarded. Incident proton energy was
21 MeV. For 1 h, no target material loss was observed
at the current beam of up to 20 µA. With this method,
the production of titanium-45 provides an opportunity
Y. Fazaeli, et al.: A New Approach to Targetry and Cyclotron Production of ...
Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection: Year 2014, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 28-33
Table 2. Calculated thickness and physical yield
Beam energy [MeV]*
Target thickness [mm]
Calculated yield [MBq/mAh]
422 ± 30
45Cs(p, n)45Ti
Theoretical calculation by
Theoretical calculation by
Vavere et al., [21]
This work
Incident energy on target material; ® exit energy after target material
to apply high beam power of about 300 W (20 µA), under the condition that the target material can withstand
the current beam while demonstrating stability at the
same time. Folkesson's samples were prepared using
scandium foils. The targets were bombarded with
beams of up to 18 µA and the time of irradiation was
about 3 h [3], while a Vavere's target consisting of a
natural scandium foil was irradiated with a proton
beam of 14.5 MeV at 5 µA over a period of 1 h [22].
The advantage of this production method is that,
by the use of scandium oxide which is economical, as
well as the use of a pressed scandium oxide target in an
aluminum shield, the beam current can increase as
much as needed, based on the utilized cyclotron (in our
case, 150 µA) and total heat produced on the window
(referring to the aluminum window resistant to a beam
power of up to 1000 W). The presented shuttle was
tested in an experiment with a 100 µA current and
25 MeV energy for 1 h, with no errors being observed
(above the requirements set by our experiment). The
measured yield of 45Ti at the end of bombardment
(EOB) was 403.3 MBq/µA h (tab. 2).
After considering the excitation functions of a
45Sc(p, n)45Ti reaction using TALYS and ALICE/ASH
codes and the comparison with other experimental
data, 45Ti was produced by dint of the pressing method
and a newly manufactured shuttle which resulted in an
experimental yield of 403.3 MBq/µAh. Essential target thickness and physical yield were calculated by
SRIM codes. The scandium oxide target was irradiated at a 20 µA current and 21 MeV proton beam energy for 1 h and a highly pure 45Ti in the form of chloride was achieved. In this type of the pressing method,
any environmental contamination which may result
from the sedimentation production method and toxic
elements due to the electroplating bathe via the electroplating production method, are non-existent. Taking into account the ability to determine a desirable
beam current accompanied by a lower risk of environmental pollution by means of a shielding target material contained within a capsule, we have come to the
conclusion that this approach to targetry might prove
to be a suitable candidate for the production of
The authors wish to thank Ms. Fateme Bolori
Novin and Mr. Gholamreza Aslani for their kind help.
The theoretical analysis was carried out by Y.
Fazaeli, F. Bayat, K. Yousefi, and T. Kakavand. The
experiments were carried out by Y. Fazaeli, M.
Aboudzadeh, and K. Aardaneh. All authors analyzed
and discussed the results. The manuscript was written
by Y. Fazaeli and the figures were prepared by Y.
Fazaeli, F. Bayat, and K. Yousefi.
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Received on October 19, 2012
Accepted on March 6, 2014
Jusef FAZELI, Mohamadreza ABUDZADEH, Kosro ARDANEH,
Tajeb KAKAVAND, Fatemeh BAJAT, Kamran JUSEFI
Titanijum-45, sa vremenom poluraspada od 3.09 ~asova, raspada se emisijom pozitrona
(85%) i procesom zahvata elektrona (15%). Ova svojstva ~ine 45Ti korisnim za dijagnostifikovawe
tumora pozitronskom emisionom tomografijom. Po prethodnom razmatrawu ekscitacionih
funkcija reakcije 45Sc(p, n)45Ti, pomo}u programskih kodova TALYS i ALICE/ASH i posle pore|ewa
sa eksperimentalnim podacima, proizveden je 45Ti metodom pritiska i sa projektovanim i
na~iwenim {atlom i kapsulom, uz eksperimentalni prinos od 403.3 MBq/mAh. Prora~unati su
osnovna debqina mete i fizi~ki prinos. Meta od skandijumoksida ozra~ivana je tokom jednog ~asa
protonskim snopom energije 21 MeV, ja~ine struje 20 mA.
Kqu~ne re~i: 45Ti, 45Sc, proton, ekscitaciona funkcija, fizi~ki prinos