Developments in micro-sample 14C AMS at the ANTARES AMS facility

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We continue development of micro-sample radiocarbon sample preparation and AMS measurement at the ANTARES AMS facility. We routinely prepare samples containing 10–200 μg of carbon using an iron catalyst with an excess of hydrogen in 2.5 mL graphitisation reactors. These use a tube furnace to heat the catalyst to 600°C and a Peltier-cooled water trap. Samples containing just a few micrograms of carbon can be prepared. We describe progress with a 0.5 mL laser-heated ‘microfurnace’ we are developing for the rapid and efficient graphitisation of 5 μg samples. Following operating experience with a prototype unit, work has commenced on the development of a second-generation device with the goal of fully automated operation with minimal introduction of extraneous carbon. Key to development of micro-sample 14C AMS is the ability to reliably handle the graphite/iron sample and to mount it in the ion source target holder. We have developed a target holder that permits the sample to be loaded in a 1 mm diameter recess and rear pressed, ensuring a high quality surface finish, at a reproducible depth. Additionally we have developed a method for systematically aligning the sample stage with the cesium beam following ion source servicing. Crown copyright © 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Carbon 14, Mass spectroscopy, ANTARES Tandem Accelerator, Graphitization, Hydrogen, Sample holders
Hua, Q., Williams, A., Levchenko, V., & Ying, B. (2010). Developments in micro-sample 14C AMS at the ANTARES AMS facility. Paper presented to the 11th International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS-11), 14th – 19th September 2008. Spazio Etoile, Rome. In Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 268(7), 919-923. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2009.10.064268(7-8), 919-923.