A K Nayak
Articles written in Journal of Chemical Sciences
Volume 114 Issue 6 December 2002 pp 639-648
Laser isotope separation (LIS) by infrared laser chemistry of polyatomic molecules has come a long way since its discovery. The last decade has seen considerable efforts in scaling up of the process for light elements like carbon, oxygen and silicon. These efforts aim at ways to improve both the enrichment factor and the throughput. The achievement is quite significant especially for carbon isotope separation wherein macroscopic operating scales have been realized. We report our studies on the IR laser chemistry of two promising systems, viz. neat CF2HCl and CF3Br/Cl2. We have investigated conditions for optimizing the dissociation yield and selectivity using natural samples containing l.l%C-13.Wealso highlight our current efforts for scaling up the process. These include the design aspects of a photochemical reactor with multipass refocusing Herriott optics for efficient photon utilization, development of a cryogenic distillation set up and a preparative gas chromatograph for large scale separation/collection of the isotopically enriched photoproduct in the post-irradiation stage.