Production of separation-nozzle systems for uranium enrichment by a combination of X-ray lithography and galvanoplastics
X-ray lithography using synchrotron radiation has been applied in a multi-step process for the production of plastic moulds to be used in the fabrication of separation nozzles by electrodeposition. For characteristic dimensions of a few microns a total height of the nozzle structure of about 400 μm has been achieved. Structural details of about 0.1 μm are being reproduced across the total thickness of the polymer layer. The surface finish of metallic separation nozzles produced by electrodeposition was equivalent to the high quality of the polymer surface. The separation-nozzle systems fabricated by the described method allow an increase by a factor three of the gas pressure in separationnozzle plants as compared to the present standard. This results in considerable savings in the enrichment of 235U for nuclear power production.