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Gas counting system for (super 14) C dating of small samples in the Krakow laboratory.

Zbigniew Gorczyca, Kazimierz Jelen, Tadeusz Kuc


The application of traditional gas or liquid scintillation counting (LSC) is necessary for assessing radionuclide activity in countries without operating accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facilities. A simple and relatively inexpensive system of mini gas counters for measurement of radiocarbon in archaeological and environmental samples has been set up recently in the Krakow laboratory (Department of Environmental Physics, University of Mining and Metallurgy). The system is composed of a gas purification and counter filling line, three identical 15-mL copper/quartz counters, active and passive shielding, and an electronic unit with data acquisition. One counter measures 22 mg of carbon as CO (sub 2) with efficiency >95% at a background reduced to 0.044 cpm by a NaJ(T1) guard counter and lead shield. The detection limit (1 sigma ) for a two-week measurement of 48 mL of CO (sub 2) is 0.52 pMC. The corresponding counting error of a 100 pMC environmental sample is 1.3 pMC for 22 mgC (one counter) and 0.75 pMC for 66 mgC (three counters filled with the sample).


gaseous phase;copper;Poland;background level;laboratory studies;precision;size;errors;liquid scintillation methods;Central Europe;metals;experimental studies;Europe;charcoal;methods;C 14;carbon;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;carbon dioxide;absolute age

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