Unique Zr-96 isotope samples were delivered to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) by the Izotop company, an integrator of the Rosatom State Corporation in the field of turnover and promotion of isotope products. Isotopes Zr-96 produced by the PO EHZ company (Rosatom’s plant) will be used in investigations of fundamental properties of neutrinos.
The unique sample of enriched Zr-96 was obtained with concerted efforts of the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems (DLNP JINR) and the Izotop company. It allows conducting new research on the neutrino mode of the double beta decay of this isotope and searching for the neutrinoless beta decay at new sensitivity levels. “Spectrometric search for the neutrinoless mode of the beta decay links nuclear physics to astrophysics and cosmology,” said Evgeny Yakushev, head of the DLNP Experimental Department of Nuclear Spectrometry and Radiochemistry. “The existence of this decay mode will allow us to shed light on the very existence of our Universe, which was possible thanks to a moderate asymmetry between matter and antimatter. A number of theoretical models explaining this asymmetry requires another, Majorana mechanism of getting the mass by the neutrino, which is why the neutrinoless decay is possible. This mechanism for the neutrino might basically differ from this mechanism for all other known particles whose masses arise from the interaction with the Higgs field. It is a completely new intriguing physics.”
“This delivery is an outcome of prolific cooperation of the Izotop company, the PO EHZ company, and JINR. We hope that mutual activities will facilitate international scientific experiments on physics properties of the Universe and bring us to new significant discoveries,” remarked Maksim Kushnarev, Director General of the Izotop company.
“JINR has a long-lasting expertise in developing and performing experiments on the double beta decay. To conduct these studies, an enriched isotope is needed (the Izotop company supports us here), and it should be of unique purity. Methods for determination of impurities, a precise investigation of properties of the obtained enriched material, and, if necessary, additional purification will be the objectives of the research at the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems”, — added Dmitry Filosofov, head of the DLNP Sector of Radiochemistry.
JINR is going to study the purity of the delivered isotope samples and publish the results. With high quality confirmed, Zr-96 can be much in demand in different international scientific projects, and the possible volume of sales can reach tens of kilograms a year.