Abstract The He-jet transport method has been used to produce thin targets of 252Cf-fission products on a heated metal foil. After β-decay, the masses of the recoiling nuclei were determined by a time-of-flight spectrometer simultaneously with the corresponding β- or γ-energy. Interrupting the He-jet transport periodically also a half-life analysis was performed for each separate mass. During one 45 h run 42 different nuclei were identified by their masses, β-decay energies and half-lives. It was found that relative to the number of detected β-particles about 0.2% of the β-recoils leave the surface single-charged and are accepted by the spectrometer. The original energy and ionic charge distributions due to the β-decay vary because of the interaction of the β-recoils with the upper surface layers of the target. Accordingly, the lines in the mass spectra do not show a broadening from β-decay. In addition to the sputtering of surface atoms also chemical reactions have been observed, especially the formation of oxydes. The yield of these LaO +, CeO +, etc. ions however, seems to be strongly dependent on the β-decay energy.