The University of Arizona
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Towards achieving low background levels in routine dating by liquid scintillation spectrometry.

Alan G Hogg


International radiocarbon intercalibration studies have revealed that radiometric laboratories using liquid scintillation (LS) spectrometry of benzene reported, on average, younger ages for near-background standards than either gas proportional counter (GPC) or accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratories. These studies suggested that the younger LS ages are probably related to the use of spectrophotometric benzene as a background standard. An analysis of successive 110-ka subfossil wood (Airedale Reef Ancient Wood: ARAW) standards shows that vacuum line memory effects occur in LS spectrometry and, consequently, must be corrected to obtain accurate (super 14) C dates. ARAW standards, measured at monthly intervals in the Waikato laboratory, are used to provide blank corrections for both research and routine dating applications. The strong correlation between the ARAW Delta (super 14) C data and the sample activities that preceded the standards may provide an opportunity to obtain sample-specific blank correlations. Lithium carbide synthesis is likely to prove a source of contamination. This work suggests that reproducible background levels for routine dating of less than 0.1 pMC (55 ka (super 14) C yr) are achievable.


absolute age;accuracy ;Airedale Reef Ancient Wood;aromatic hydrocarbons;benzene ;C 14;calibration ;carbon ;corrections ;correlation ;hydrocarbons ;isotopes ;liquid scintillation methods;methods ;organic compounds;radioactive isotopes;research ;wood

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