Isotopes of californium

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Actinides and fission products by half-life
Actinides[1] by decay chain Half-life
range (a)
Fission products by yield[2]
4n 4n+1 4n+2 4n+3
4.5–7% 0.04–1.25% <0.001%
228Ra 4–6 155Euþ
244Cm 241Puƒ 250Cf 227Ac 10–29 90Sr 85Kr 113mCdþ
232Uƒ 238Pu 243Cmƒ 29–97 137Cs 151Smþ 121mSn
248Bk[3] 249Cfƒ 242mAmƒ 141–351

No fission products
have a half-life
in the range of
100–210k years…

241Am 251Cfƒ[4] 430–900
226Ra 247Bk 1.3k–1.6k
240Pu 229Th 246Cm 243Am 4.7k–7.4k
245Cmƒ 250Cm 8.3k–8.5k
239Puƒ 24.1k
230Th 231Pa 32k–76k
236Npƒ 233Uƒ 234U 150k–250k 99Tc 126Sn
248Cm 242Pu 327k–375k 79Se
1.53M 93Zr
237Np 2.1M–6.5M 135Cs 107Pd
236U 247Cmƒ 15M–24M 129I
244Pu 80M

...nor beyond 15.7M[5]

232Th 238U 235Uƒ№ 0.7G–14.1G

Legend for superscript symbols
₡  has thermal neutron capture cross section in the range of 8–50 barns
ƒ  fissile
metastable isomer
№  naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
þ  neutron poison (thermal neutron capture cross section greater than 3k barns)
†  range 4a–97a: Medium-lived fission product
‡  over 200ka: Long-lived fission product

Californium (Cf) is a chemical element that is mainly produced synthetically, but trace quantities are found in nature from neutron capture by uranium atoms.[6]

It has no stable isotopes. The first isotope to be synthesized was 245Cf in 1950. There are 20 known radioisotopes ranging from 237Cf to 256Cf and one nuclear isomer, 249mCf. The longest-lived isotope is 251Cf with a half-life of 900 years.

Californium-252[edit]

Californium-252 undergoes spontaneous fission and is used in small sized neutron sources. Fission neutrons have an energy range of 0 to 13 MeV with a mean value of 2.3 MeV and a most probable value of 1 MeV.[7]

Table[edit]

nuclide
symbol
Z(p) N(n)  
isotopic mass (u)
 
half-life decay
mode(s)[8][n 1]
daughter
isotope(s)
nuclear
spin
excitation energy
237Cf 98 139 237.06207(54)# 2.1(3) s SF (various) 5/2+#
β+ 237Bk
α 233Cm
238Cf 98 140 238.06141(43)# 21.1(13) ms SF (various) 0+
β+ (rare) 238Bk
α (rare) 234Cm
239Cf 98 141 239.06242(23)# 60(30) s
[39(+37-12) s]
α 235Cm 5/2+#
β+ (rare) 239Bk
240Cf 98 142 240.06230(22)# 1.06(15) min α (98%) 236Cm 0+
SF (2%) (various)
β+ (rare) 240Bk
241Cf 98 143 241.06373(27)# 3.78(70) min β+ (75%) 241Bk 7/2-#
α (25%) 237Cm
242Cf 98 144 242.06370(4) 3.49(15) min α (80%) 238Cm 0+
β+ (20%) 242Bk
SF (.014%) (various)
243Cf 98 145 243.06543(15)# 10.7(5) min β+ (86%) 243Bk (1/2+)
α (14%) 239Cm
244Cf 98 146 244.066001(3) 19.4(6) min α (99%) 240Cm 0+
EC (1%) 244Bk
245Cf 98 147 245.068049(3) 45.0(15) min β+ (64%) 245Bk (5/2+)
α (36%) 241Cm
246Cf 98 148 246.0688053(22) 35.7(5) h α 242Cm 0+
EC (5×10−4%) 246Bk
SF (2×10−4%) (various)
247Cf 98 149 247.071001(9) 3.11(3) h EC (99.96%) 247Bk (7/2+)#
α (.04%) 243Cm
248Cf 98 150 248.072185(6) 333.5(28) d α (99.99%) 244Cm 0+
SF (.0029%) (various)
249Cf 98 151 249.0748535(24) 351(2) a α 245Cm 9/2-
SF (5×10−7%) (various)
249mCf 144.98(5) keV 45(5) µs 5/2+
250Cf 98 152 250.0764061(22) 13.08(9) a α (99.92%) 246Cm 0+
SF (.077%) (various)
251Cf[n 2] 98 153 251.079587(5) 900(40) a α 247Cm 1/2+
252Cf[n 3] 98 154 252.081626(5) 2.645(8) a α (96.9%) 248Cm 0+
SF (3.09%)[n 4] (various)
253Cf 98 155 253.085133(7) 17.81(8) d β- (99.69%) 253Es (7/2+)
α (.31%) 249Cm
254Cf 98 156 254.087323(13) 60.5(2) d SF (99.69%) (various) 0+
α (.31%) 250Cm
β-β- (rare) 254Fm
255Cf 98 157 255.09105(22)# 85(18) min β- (99.99%) 255Es (7/2+)
SF (.001%) (various)
α (10−5%) 251Cm
256Cf 98 158 256.09344(32)# 12.3(12) min SF (99%) (various) 0+
β- (1%) 256Es
α (10−6%) 252Cm
β-β- (rare) 256Fm
  1. ^ Abbreviations:
    EC: Electron capture
    SF: Spontaneous fission
  2. ^ High neutron cross-section, tends to absorb neutrons
  3. ^ Most common isotope
  4. ^ High neutron emitter, average 3.7 neutrons per fission

Notes[edit]

  • Values marked # are not purely derived from experimental data, but at least partly from systematic trends. Spins with weak assignment arguments are enclosed in parentheses.
  • Uncertainties are given in concise form in parentheses after the corresponding last digits. Uncertainty values denote one standard deviation, except isotopic composition and standard atomic mass from IUPAC which use expanded uncertainties.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plus radium (element 88). While actually a sub-actinide, it immediately precedes actinium (89) and follows a three element gap of instability after polonium (84) where no isotopes have half-lives of at least four years (the longest-lived isotope in the gap is radon-222 with a half life of less than four days). Radium's longest lived isotope, at a notable 1600 years, thus merits the element's inclusion here.
  2. ^ Specifically from thermal neutron fission of U-235, e.g. in a typical nuclear reactor.
  3. ^ Milsted, J.; Friedman, A. M.; Stevens, C. M. (1965). "The alpha half-life of berkelium-247; a new long-lived isomer of berkelium-248". Nuclear Physics 71 (2): 299. doi:10.1016/0029-5582(65)90719-4.  edit
    "The isotopic analyses disclosed a species of mass 248 in constant abundance in three samples analysed over a period of about 10 months. This was ascribed to an isomer of Bk248 with a half-life greater than 9 y. No growth of Cf248 was detected, and a lower limit for the β half-life can be set at about 104 y. No alpha activity attributable to the new isomer has been detected; the alpha half-life is probably greater than 300 y."
  4. ^ This is the heaviest isotope with a half-life of at least four years before the "Sea of Instability".
  5. ^ Excluding those "classically stable" isotopes with half-lives significantly in excess of 232Th, e.g. while 113mCd has a half-life of only fourteen years, that of 113Cd is nearly eight quadrillion.
  6. ^ Emsley, John (2011). Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements (New ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-960563-7. 
  7. ^ Dicello, J. F.; Gross, W.; Kraljevic, U. (1972). "Radiation Quality of Californium-252". Physics in Medicine and Biology 17 (3): 345. Bibcode:1972PMB....17..345D. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/17/3/301. 
  8. ^ http://www.nucleonica.net/unc.aspx
Isotopes of berkelium Isotopes of californium Isotopes of einsteinium
Table of nuclides