Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Isotopes Products

Isotopes produced at Los Alamos National Laboratory are saving lives, advancing cutting-edge research and keeping the U.S. safe.


stress and rest

Stress and rest Rb-82 PET images in a patient with dipyridamole stress-inducible lateral wall and apical ischemia. 

Strontium-82 is supplied to our customers for use in Sr-82/Rb-82 generator technologies. The generators in turn are supplied to hospitals and medical laboratories to support cardiac imaging through Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The generator technology was developed by the DOE Medical Radioisotope Program during the 1970s and 1980s, and the technology was transferred to private industry in the late 1980s. The DOE continues to be one of the principle suppliers of the strontium–82 for the generators. Strontium-82 is produced by bombarding rubidium chloride or rubidium metal with protons utilizing the energy range between 40 and 90 MeV. http://www.fac.org.ar/scvc/llave/image/machac/machaci.htm#f2,3,4

Germanium-68 is used for calibration sources for medical imaging equipment. Hospitals and research institutions across the nation use such sources every day to calibrate PET scanners. Without such calibrations the usefulness of equipment for medical imaging and research would be severely limited. Germanium-68 is produced by bombarding gallium metal with protons utilizing the energy range between 15 and 35 MeV. In addition to source technologies, Ga-68 (the daughter isotope of Ge–68) is emerging as a promising PET imaging isotope.


Oceanographic researcher collects a conductivity temperature depth (CTD) sensor package for subsequent analysis using LANL-produced Si-32

Silicon-32 is used in oceanographic research to study the silicon cycle in marine organisms, principally diatoms. Its use in this application has dramatically improved the timeliness and quality of data available in this area of environmental research. Silicon-32 is produced by high-energy (> 90 MeV) proton bombardment of potassium chloride. Other isotopes that have recently shipped from LANL's isotope program include cadmium–109 (X-ray fluorescence sources), arsenic-72 (medical research), and sodium-22 (PET sources).