Radiocarbon Laboratory

Penn State's Radiocarbon 14C laboratory is dedicated to providing radiocarbon measurements on carbon-bearing materials spanning the last 45,000 years.

The facility operates a modified National Electrostatics Corporation 500kV 1.5SDH-1 Compact Accelerator Mass Spectrometer optimized with a second einzel lens and solid ion source capable of routinely generating 12C beam currents in the range of 120-150 mA on small (0.3-0.7 mg C) samples, roughly twice the current of similar low energy AMS systems available to researchers.

This allows for high precision measurements of small individual samples and reduces the need for bulk or mixed materials to generate sufficient carbon for measurements. Thus, changes in 14C can be measured in incremental growth samples, such as tree rings, marine shells, and speleothems, or in short-lived samples such as seeds, leaves, hair, and other biologicals tissues. 

Radiocarbon Laboratory