Nicolo de Groot
Nicolo de Groot

NWO Demonstrator for production of heavy calcium isotopes

Nicolo de Groot, professor of High Energy Physics at Radboud University, receives a Demonstrator Grant from the NWO. He will receive the grant together with Prof. Julia Even from the University of Groningen for their research project 'A Pre-enricher for heavy calcium isotopes'. With the grant, worth 166,000 euros, the research team wants to develop a new method for enriching heavy calcium isotopes.

Eliminate shortages and reduce costs

In Europe, there is a threat of a shortage of heavy calcium isotopes (48Ca, 46Ca and 44Ca) that are used for medical applications and scientific research. These isotopes are produced in calutrons, a type of mass spectrometer. However, production takes a long time and is expensive.

The research team of Nicolo de Groot and Julia Even wants to remedy the shortage of heavy calcium isotopes with a new method of enriching calcium by a factor of 5. The team expects to be able to reduce costs and production time by 80%.

Nicolo de Groot: 'Developing this new method will make it easier to produce heavy calcium isotopes within Europe. We can then continue to use the heavy calcium isotopes for scientific research and medical applications. In addition, the costs for heavy calcium isotopes are lower, and production costs less energy.'

The research project 'A pre-enricher for heavy calcium isoptopes starts in October 2023 and has a duration of 18 months.