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VERA Seminar

Successful extension of the 14C age limit: sample treatment and isotope enrichment by ultra-centrifuge

Harro A.J. Meijer, Centrum voor IsotopenOnderzoek (CIO), Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG), University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Most AMS 14C laboratories do not report sample ages older than 45.000 or 50.000 years max. This corresponds to a 14C abundance of ≈2 x10-15, or 0.2% of the modern material abundance. This limit is not caused by the accelerator itself, but rather by a chain of contamination sources (and variability therein!) along the way from original sample until the graphite in the AMS.

In an effort to substantially reduce this contamination, we have concentrated on several aspects of sample treatment, and as the most innovative step, we have successfully demonstrated 14C isotope enrichment using the ultracentrifuge technique (URENCO Almelo, the Netherlands). The latter effectively increased the 14C abundance by a factor of around 2.5, thereby leading to an extension of the age limit by around 7000 years.  

Donnerstag, 05.06.2014    16:30 Uhr

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