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Samples and Services The Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory accepts a variety of samples including: Before mailing any samples, please contact the lab at [email protected] discuss the number and types of samples.
After we have discussed your samples and the analytical requirements, complete and submit one sample submission form per sample. Peabody Drive Natural Resources Building University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820To avoid contamination of the sample prior, during, and after shipment please ensure: C tracer to avoid contamination of samples and laboratory spaces.
Radiocarbon is rare, forming no more than one part per trillion of the total carbon content of the atmosphere.
An optical method allows radiocarbon to be detected at roughly 25-fold lower levels than this, opening up fresh avenues of research.
Other compounds, such as water vapour and nitrogen, do not interfere in the infrared spectrum, either because they have different infrared spectra or because they do not have 'allowed' infrared transitions — that is, quantum mechanics prevents the molecules from undergoing energy transitions that would be detected in the infrared.
Standard mass spectrometers, however, do not have sufficient resolution to distinguish the small mass difference between High-energy accelerator mass spectrometry can overcome this problem.
For this technique, the sample must first be turned into solid carbon (graphite) using a series of chemical transformations.
Services are provided at an internal rate for the University of Illinois and at an external rate for other researchers as noted below.
For more information, contact Matthew Fort ([email protected]; 1-217-244-7692), the Radiocarbon Laboratory Analyst.