Radiochemistry is defined as the study of radioactive elements using chemical techniques.  Some elements on the periodic table contain naturally occuring radioactive isotopes, whereas others can be produced in particle acccelorators.

 A few key areas that utilize trained radiochemists include: 

  • nuclear energy (decontamination and decommissioning, environmental monitoring, advanced fuel development, separations technology)

  • radiopharmaceuticals (production of isotopes, novel drug synthesis and labeling)

  • nuclear forensics (identifying the source of nuclear material from explosions, weapons production, and accidental release)

  • medical imaging (PET imaging, tracer isotopes)

  • radiochemicals (radiolabeled molecules for use as tracers in industry and research)

  • homeland security (nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship, nuclear detection strategies and deployment).

The research mission of the Interdisciplinary Radiochemistry Group at the University of Iowa is to advance our basic chemical understanding of radioactive elements and develop novel techniques in separations, nuclear forensics, and medical applications.  We also are invested in educating the next generation of radiochemist, by developing graduates with the fundamental knowledge and practical laboratory skills needed to serve in professional roles in nuclear energy, nuclear forensics, environmental monitoring, nuclear medicine, and related fields.