Experiences of Production and Homogeneity Analysis of an AMS 14C Sucrose Standard for High-Activity Measurements
CitationSydoff, M., & Stenström, K. (2010). Experiences of production and homogeneity analysis of an AMS 14C sucrose standard for high-activity measurements. Radiocarbon, 52(3), 1351-1357.
DescriptionFrom the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Kona, Hawaii, USA, May 31-June 3, 2009.
AbstractAccurate accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements rely on standards with well-known isotopic ratios. For radiocarbon measurements, a number of standards with different properties are commercially available, of which the IAEA-C6 sucrose standard with a 14C value of 150.61 pMC is the most active. When analyzing biological samples resulting from studies using 14C-labeled substances, the activity content can be up to 100 times this value. Thus, there is a need for a standard material with higher activity content than IAEA-C6 for making accurate AMS measurements on this type of sample. This paper describes the attempts of producing a standard with an activity content of about 10 times modern carbon. The material chosen has to be chemically inert, preferably non-toxic, commercially available in 14C-labeled form, and the activity must be homogeneously distributed within the material. Two different standard materials were considered: urea and sucrose. Sucrose was chosen for the new standard, since it is non-toxic, inexpensive, and organic and on combustion, forms only carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). In this paper, we discuss our experience in the production and homogeneity analysis of this material, from the crystallization of the sucrose solution to the graphitization of the samples. When using an online combustion method and a septa-sealed vial reduction method, the AMS measurements indicated that the activity was not homogeneously distributed throughout the material. Contrary to this, measurements of the sucrose solution prior to recrystallization indicated that the activity was more homogeneously distributed before than after the recrystallization. In order to determine whether the inhomogeneity depended on the graphitization method (i.e. the combustion or the reduction method) or on the material itself, 3 different graphitization methods and 2 different methods of recrystallization were tested.