Dr. Ralf Sudowe
Assistant Professor of Health Physics and RadioChemistry
Phone: (702) 895-5964
FAX: (702) 895-4819
My primary research focuses on the development of advanced radioanalytical techniques and radiochemical separations for a variety of tasks. I am especially interested in the development of new procedures for the detection of biologically relevant radionuclides in the environment. This research has direct significance to a number of important areas such as environmental monitoring, attribution science, non-proliferation and nuclear forensics. To learn about the fate of radionuclides in the environment and to understand speciation, sorption and nuclide transport it is necessary to detect and characterize the elements of interest in a large number of samples and a variety of matrices, such as air, water and soil.
The aim is to make new radioanalytical methods available that will lower the detection limits for radionuclides of interest, improve the separation from interfering elements and facilitate a fast analysis of a large number of samples. Using a variety of modern analytical tools I want to obtain a better understanding of the fundamental properties of the separation process and the behavior of radioactive elements in different environments.
I am also interested in the development of advanced separation procedures for the productions of radionuclides for diagnostics and therapy in nuclear medicine.
Another part of my research focuses on the study of the chemical behavior of the transactinide elements (Z ≥ 104) in solution. The study of the chemical properties of these elements gives valuable insight on the trends in the periodic table and the influence of relativistic effects on the chemical properties of the heaviest elements.
Using different chemical systems and either manual techniques or automated systems we are able to gain information on the chemistry of elements such as rutherfordium, dubnium or seaborgium. By carrying out model experiments with the lighter homolog of the transactinide element of interest, such as zirconium and hafnium for rutherfordium, we are able to develop suitable model systems for future experiments. Online experiments with transactinide experiments can than be carried out at accelerator facilities such as the 88-Inch Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) or the LINEAC at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Germany.
I am offering research projects in these areas as part of the Health Physics Masters program and the Radiochemistry Ph.D. program. Interested students should have a background in chemistry, engineering or physics.