Search for low-energy X-ray and particle emissions from an electrochemical cell

Dennis Pease, Orchideh Azizi, Jinghao He, Arik El-Boher, Graham K. Hubler, Sango Bok, Cherian Mathai, Shubhra Gangopadhyay, Stefano Lecci, Vittorio Violante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Several theories to explain anomalous heat production predict the emission of low-energy X-rays and/or MeV alpha particles from PdD cathodes in electrochemical cells. Such radiation, however, is not detectable from outside of a standard electrochemical cell due to absorption in the electrolyte and cell walls. A custom cell was therefore assembled which permits X-rays of energy ≥ 1 keV to pass through a thin cathodic membrane and enter into an X-ray detector with minimal attenuation. This test cell geometry also potentially allows any emitted MeV alpha particles to be detected when they impact a Pd cathode and cause fluorescent emission of Pd-Kα(21.2, 23.8 keV) X-rays. The detection of X-ray emissions from a membrane electrolytic cell potentially permits the mechanism(s) for anomalous heat production to be investigated with great sensitivity. As an example, a typical X-ray detector allows 1 keV X-rays to be detected at emission rates of less than one per second and this level of sensitivity corresponds to a thermal resolution of < 0.2 fW. Time resolved X-ray spectral data ranging from 1 to 30 keV was collected for over a year using various types of membranes and different electrolytic solutions. None of these test cells, however, yielded any X-rays which were above ambient background levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257 - 263
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Pease, D., Azizi, O., He, J., El-Boher, A., Hubler, G. K., Bok, S., ... Violante, V. (2016). Search for low-energy X-ray and particle emissions from an electrochemical cell. Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, 19, 257 - 263.