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Sample Preparation

The steps you take to prepare your sample for AMS analysis are by far the most important determinant of the quality of the radiocarbon result. Your choices define the sample and determine the scope of questions that can ultimately be addressed. While AMS allows the precise measurement of radiocarbon from tiny amounts of material, the potential resolution can easily be obscured by analyzing inappropriate components.

Note about δ13C analysis:
If you have already measured the δ13C for your samples and plan to submit those values to us, or are considering using an assumed value, please consider letting us measure it from a split of CO2 from your sample as well. We'd like to encourage you to let us measure δ13C here as a low-cost check for quality - it is useful for evaluating an unexpected 14C result.


Organic Carbon

  • Aerosols (total organic carbon)
  • Black Carbon
  • Bone Collagen
  • Charcoal
  • Plant/wood
  • Compound-specific
  • Dissolved Organic Carbon
  • Petroglyph/rock paint
  • Sediment (total organic carbon)

Inorganic Carbon

  • Dissolved Inorganic Carbon
  • Foraminifera
  • Coral
  • Mollusc
  • Mortar
  • Sediment (carbonates)


  • CO2 Gas
  • Graphite
  • Methane
  • Contamination check/swipes
  • Gas Ion Source (carbonates)
  • Reconnaissance Analyses