Excitation functions were measured by the stacked-foil technique for 61Ni(p,n)61Cu and 61Ni(p,2n)60Cu nuclear reactions using 88.84% enriched 61Ni and for 64Ni(p,n)64Cu reaction using 95% enriched 64Ni from threshold up to 18.6 MeV. The optimum energy range for the production of both 61Cu and 64Cu was found to be 12 → 9 MeV. The calculated thick target yield of 61Cu amounts to 17.5 mCi (647 MBq)/γAh. At the given enrichment the yield was 15.5 mCi (573 MBq)/γAh and the expected level of 60Cu and 64Cu impurities at EOB reached 14.59 and 0.086%, respectively. For production of 64Cu the yield was 6.71 mCi (248 MBq)/γAh. At 95% enrichment of the target material the 64Cu yield amounts to 6.38 mCi (236 MBq)/γAh and the 60Cu and 61Cu impurities at EOB are 10.01 and 0.41%, respectively. An anion-exchange chromatographic technique for the separation of radiocopper from activated Ni target was developed. The 61Ni(p,n)61Cu and 64Ni(p,n)64Cu processes are suited for the production of 61Cu and 64Cu at a small cyclotron. The common production routes for 64Cu are briefly reviewed.
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