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Advances in Handling Small Radiocarbon Samples at the Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14 in Saclay, France

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

E Delqué-Količ*
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
I Caffy
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
C Comby-Zerbino
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
J P Dumoulin
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
S Hain
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
M Massault
Affiliation:
IDES, UMR 8148 CNRS, Université Paris-Sud11, Bâtiment 504, Rue du Belvédère, Campus Universitaire d'Orsay, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
C Moreau
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
A Quiles
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
V Setti
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
C Souprayen
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
J F Tannau
Affiliation:
LSCE, CEA/DSM, Domaine du CNRS, Bâtiment 12, 91198 Gif sur Yvette, France
B Thellier
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
J Vincent
Affiliation:
LMC14, CEA Saclay, Bâtiment 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
*
2Corresponding author. Email: emmanuelle.delque-kolic@cea.fr.

Abstract

The Artemis accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility, installed in 2003 in Saclay, France, is devoted to radiocarbon measurements. Samples are submitted by scientists in the fields of Quaternary geology, environmental sciences, and archaeology. The entire preparation process, originally optimized for samples with about 1 mg of carbon, has been tested in recent years for samples with a lower carbon content. In particular, we prepared and measured carbonate and organic background and reference samples ranging in mass from 0.01 to 1 mg C. These tests helped define our protocol's practical limits and determine necessary improvements. Furthermore, our experiments demonstrated that satisfactory graphitization yields (80% and higher) and low background values can be obtained with samples down to 0.2 mg of carbon. For handling smaller samples, we developed a specific process. We tested smaller reactors (5 mL in volume) and adapted the reduction parameters (H2 pressure and temperature) accordingly. We also tested the effect of a chemical water trap on graphitization yields and 14C results. This paper presents in detail the aforementioned developments and reports the 14C results obtained for background and standard small samples prepared with the modified reactors.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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