Suerc radiocarbon dating laboratory
The laboratory is equipped with 3 computer based thermoluminescence (TL) readers developed in-house, including a 24 sample automated system.
Two spectrometers have been developed for photostimulated luminescence (PSL) research.
All of the above enable the laboratory to provide a complete analytical service comprising advice on sample selection, preparation and analysis of samples, and Bayesian analysis of resulting 14C (and other) data.
The pretreatment methods that we mainly focus on are used to remove contaminant carbon from a range of sample types or to isolate a particular chemical fraction from a sample prior to combustion/hydrolysis, graphitization, and subsequent AMS 14C measurement.
Luminescence is light emitted from samples that have been previously excited by exposure to an external energy source.
In many dielectric materials, including mineral systems, stimulated luminescence can be produced following exposure to ionising radiation as a result of charge-trapping and detrapping processes at defect sites within the lattice of the material.
The NERC Radiocarbon Facility (East Kilbride) provides UK scientists and international collaborators with radiocarbon measurements, mainly for Earth and Environmental science.
The Facility has existed since 1970, and is now hosted by SUERC.
The AMS Laboratory specialises in environmental science measurement of these natural chronometers and undertakes research in pursuit of this.A simple cost effective patented PSL screening instrument has been developed, primarily for the detection of irradiated foods.The system is manufactured in accordance with ISO 9001 and is commercially available from SUERC.Common applications of such phenomena include luminescence dating and radiation dosimetry. David Sanderson in 1986, conducts developmental and application work in diverse fields including luminescence dating, detection of irradiated foods and assessment of fire damage to concrete structures. In addition to research projects linked to external grants and contracts, collaborative research projects are conducted with the consortium universities. The laboratory has an extensive range of equipment for luminescence dating and research, backed by a full suite of sample preparation laboratories, and an unmatched capability for measurement of the environmental radioactivity associated with dating samples.There is also some capacity for undertaking luminescence dating for external users.
Much analysis is done at the low ion energy limit of the technique, including use of ultrathin Si N detector entrance windows for heavy-ion analysis.