Americium/Beryllium (Am/Be)

Americium-241/Beryllium is a neutron emitting source, and is used throughout agriculture, oil well logging, oil refining, construction and industrial industries.

Our Americium-241/Beryllium sealed source designs provide a cost-effective alternative to OEMs, meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements for sealed source encapsulations.



Half Life: 432 Years

Primary Emission: Neutron

Primary Energy: 2-10 MeV

RWL: 15 Years

Capsule Materials: M35N;Stainless steel


Americium/Beryllium History

Beryllium was combined with Am-241 to produce neutrons from the alpha bombardment of the Beryllium nucleus. This was developed in the 1950’s along with other ‘alpha N’ compound sources such as Plutonium/ Beryllium and Americium Lithium.


Americium/Beryllium Applications

Oil Well Logging (OWL) – Americium/Beryllium is used in oil exploration applications such as wireline logging, borehole logging, and logging while drilling.

Material Analysis – AmBe is used to excite radiation in non-destructive testing elemental analysis applications.

Thickness Gauging – Americium/Beryllium is used in the measurement of light alloys, glass, plastics, and rubber for which beta sources are not suitable.



Measured by National Labs and statistically verified by QSA. Standard certificates available upon request. Neutron emission is dependent on the ratio of Beryllium to Americium Oxide. QSA determines the optimal ratio based on application requirements.

Special calibrations of neutron emission can be applied to these sources, with certifications issued by the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington, England.


Custom Design Services

QSA has a large standard product list available to fit your application. Custom AmBe source designs are possible for large orders. Contact QSA for more information.


Quality Control

QSA Global uses a multi-part quality assurance system to ensure Americium/Beryllium radiation sources meet the highest integrity levels in the industry, including all statutory and international regulatory requirements.

Wipe Test I – Americium/Beryllium sources are wiped with a swab or tissue, moistened with ethanol or water, then measured for removed activity.

Immersion Test II – Americium/Beryllium sources are immersed in a suitable liquid at 50°C for at least 4 hours, then measured for removed activity.

Bubble Test III – Americium/Beryllium sources are immersed in water or a suitable liquid, and the pressure in the vessel is reduced to 13kPa (100mm Hg). No bubbles must be observed.

Contact QSA for additional information on Americium/Beryllium sealed source designs.