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New developments in Accelerator Mass spectrometry

English title New developments in Accelerator Mass spectrometry
Applicant Suter Martin
Number 122113
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Labor für Ionenstrahlphysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Nuclear Physics
Start/End 01.10.2008 - 31.05.2009
Approved amount 33'300.00
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Keywords (3)

Accelerator mass spectrometry; long-lived radionuclides; radiocarbon dating

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is presently one of the most sensitive techniques for detection of long-lived radioisotopes and trace elements at very low abundance. The main fields of application are climate history and environmental processes where radionuclides act as natural tracers. In earth sciences and archaeology AMS provides valuable dating tools. The strong international competition in this field requires a continuous improvement and adaptation of instrumentation. The research within this grant is focused on the investigation of basic processes and underlying physics involved in AMS analysis, the improvement of experimental methods and the development of novel techniques. Presently the following topic is investigated:The novel compact 600 kV AMS facility, originally built for radiocarbon dating in collaboration with National Electrostatic Corp. (NEC), is being used to explore the applicability of the low energy AMS technique to other radionuclides such as Be-10, Al-26, Ca-41, I-129, Pr-231 and Pu-isotopes. This instrument is now routinely used for I-129, Pr-231and Pu-isotope studies. During the past two years we succeeded to reach competitive performance for Be-10 measurements. It was found, that an additional magnetic filter allows reducing the background significantly. A new magnet arrangement has been designed and optimized for large background rejection and high transmission for all isotopes mentioned above. The new spectrometer will be installed and the performance will be tested.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
113507 New developments in accelerator mass spectrometry 01.10.2006 Project funding (Div. I-III)