Introduction to Radiation Chemistry
Radiation chemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the chemical effects that occur when ionizing radiation interacts with matter. Ionizing radiation includes α, β, and γ rays emitted by radionuclide decay, high-energy charged particles (electrons, protons, deuterons, etc.) and short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation. Since fission fragments and fast neutrons can cause important chemical effects, they can also be used as sources of ionizing radiation.
Ionizing radiation acts on substances, leading to the ionization and excitation of atoms or molecules. The generated ions and excited molecules are chemically unstable and will quickly transform into free radicals and neutral molecules and cause complex chemical changes. The known radiation chemical changes mainly include radiation decomposition, radiation synthesis, radiation redox, radiation polymerization, radiation crosslinking, radiation grafting, radiation degradation, and radiation modification.