Low-level radiocarbon measurements were made using two liquid scintillation (LS) counters, both with passive lead shields of approximately the same dimensions. The first one had a conventional background reduction with low-activity lead and “high-low” coincidence bias selection, and the second one had a spectrum analysis background reduction based on the different three-dimensional pulse-height signal of background and beta pulses.
The performance of commercial teflon-copper and glass vials were compared with both LS counters. Optimum counting conditions for the two detectors studied were also established. From results obtained, quality parameters and characteristics of quench curves were studied. Performances of each counter in the working conditions established were also compared.