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Background Components of a Liquid Scintillation Counter in the 14C Window

  • G Jonsson (a1) and P Theodórsson (a1)

Abstract

We present a broad and detailed study of the background components of a liquid scintillation (LS) detector, using a simple laboratory-built system, ICELS. It was specifically designed for radiocarbon dating and is compact and easily transportable (total weight 35 kg). Its flexible LS detector unit has a dome-shaped vial with 3 mL benzene to which 45 mg butyl-PBD is added. The vial sits on the top of a vertical 28-mm-diameter phototube. The gamma radiation, to which the benzene is exposed under varying conditions, was measured by replacing the vial with a 38-mm-diameter Nal crystal. The pulse-height spectra of the 14C LS background and the Nal gamma background were measured in a surface laboratory and in a deep underground counting room with: 1) a lead shield of varying thickness; 2) lead of normal and low 210Pb concentration; 3) phototubes of 2 different types; and 4) varying benzene volume. The beta emission from the face of the tubes was measured with a low-level Geiger counter.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: pth@raunvis.hi.is

References

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Plastino, W, Kaihola, L. 2004. Surface and underground ultra low-level liquid scintillation spectrometry. Radiocarbon 46(1):97104.
Theodórsson, P. 1996. Measurement of Weak Radioactivity. London: World Scientific. 333 p.
Theodórsson, P. 1998. Radiometric 14C dating: new background analysis, basis of improved systems. Radiocarbon 40(1):157–66.
Theodórsson, P. 2005. A simple, extremely stable single-tube liquid scintillation system for radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 47(1):8997.
Theodórsson, P, Ingvarsdottir, S, Gudjonsson, GI. 2003. Balanced window method in 14C liquid scintillation counting. Radocarbon 45(1):113–22.

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