Diffusion-based separation methods allow the extraction of produced radionuclides with a low loss of target material, which is of special importance when enriched target material is used. We present a simple, non-destructive and rapid method to separate radioactive isotopes of IIB group elements (zinc, cadmium and mercury) from IB group metal targets irradiated with protons. Irradiated target foils were heated to a temperature 20°C below the melting point of the target material. During these conditions at least 90% of the desired radioactivity was evaporated with negligible loss of target material. Separation time was 15 min for mercury, 60 min for cadmium and 120 min for zinc.
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