Emily Abel

  • Program Year: 2
  • Academic Institution: Michigan State University
  • Field of Study: Chemistry
  • Academic Advisor: Greg Severin
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2019)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Chemistry, and B.S. Mathematics, Saint Mary's College, 2016

Summary of Research

My research project is to develop the techniques and strategies to collect and purify the most useful by-product radionuclides from the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). These isotopes will be collected through a beam blocker system in which the unused radionuclides will accessible from the cooling water. In particular, my work will focus on harvesting 47Ca for the production of a generator to yield the medically relevant radioisotope 47Sc. The use of scandium isotopes in medical applications has become increasingly interesting as different isotopes can be used in complimentary pairs. Specifically, 43Sc and 44Sc can be used as positron emitters for PET and 47Sc can be used as an electron emitter for therapeutic treatments.

The ability to harvest these isotopes is made possible through the regular operation of the NSCL. Through projectile fragmentation, a primary beam is used to produce user specified secondary beams at the NSCL. While a single isotopic secondary beam of interest is used by the experimenters, the isotopes from unwanted secondary beams and unreacted primary beams are collected in beam stops and the cooling system along the beam line. Many of these leftover isotopes, such as 47Ca/47Sc, 48V, 88Zr, and 85Kr, are of interest for radiochemical studies. Current efforts at the NSCL are directed at making a beam blocker system to produce an aqueous mix of harvestable radioisotopes. In the future when FRIB comes online, a similar but larger scale system will be used to collect radionuclides of interest.



E. P. Abel*, H. K. Clause, J. Fonslet, R. J. Nickles, and G. W. Severin. Half-lives of 132La and 135La. Phys. Rev. C. 2018, 97, 034312.

Mersedeh Saniepay*, Chenjia Mi, Zhihui Liu, E. Paige Abel and Rémi Beaulac. Insights into the Structural Complexity of Colloidal CdSe Nanocrystal Surfaces: Correlating the Efficiency of on-Radiative Excited–State Processes to Specific Defects. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140 (5), 1725-1736.

Emily P. Aldrich, Katherine A. Bussey, Jennifer R. Connell, Erin F. Reinhart, Kayode D. Oshin, Brandon Q. Mercado, and Allen G. Oliver.
The Crystal Structure of Thermochromic bis-diethylammonium Tetrachlorocuprate Complexes. Acta Crystallographica E. Crystallographic Communications; January 2016.


Graduate Awards: University Distinguished Fellowship; NSCL Fellowship; Chemistry Recruiting Fellowship; Bursary Award to attend the 17th Workshop on Targetry and Target Chemistry.

Undergraduate Awards:Graduated Summa Cum Laude and Co-Valedictorian from Saint Mary's College, Dean's List - 4.0 Honor Roll (every semester); Moreau Presidential Scholarship; Mother Pauline Award; NSF-PRISM Women's Scholarship and Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship (for academic achievement in STEM); Outstanding Student at the Brookhaven Nuclear Chemistry Summer School location.