Sunday, February 26, 2012
Ultrasensitive Radiocarbon Technique
A recent issue of Nature reported on a new analytical method that has ultrasensitive capabilities for the detection of C-14. Instead of using accelerator mass spectrometry techniques, the researchers use a novel optical approach called saturated-absorption cavity ring-down spectroscopy. The technique takes advantage of IR spectroscopy to analyze the gas down to a detection limit of 43 parts per quadrillon. In addition, the instrumentation is significantly smaller than a mass spectrometer, and non-destructive to the sample. More details can be found in the article here.