Fossil carbonates of biological origin like foraminiferas, bivalves, corals and ostracodes are investigated to reconstruct past climate, circulation in the ocean or the history of lakes.The Waikato laboratory determines C14 activity through the measurement of beta particles.
The "Quantulus" is the most sophisticated low-level spectrometer available.
It has extensive shielding designed to reduce the effects of background radiation, enabling both older and smaller samples to be dated more accurately.
The instrument also contains twin multi-channel analysers (MCAs) which provide information on the sample and background spectra, necessary for quality control.
The Leibniz Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Stable Isotope Research was established at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany, in 1994.
It combined a new 3 MV Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) system with the conventional Radiocarbon and Mass-Spectormetry Laboratories, started in 1962.
The AMS Laboratory was founded to provide radiometric dating services to the University of Kiel and to customers from all over the world.
Due to the high demand for radiocarbon dates and the layout of the system, the AMS is used exclusively for radiocarbon analysis.
The conventional (beta-decay counting) Radiocarbon Laboratory was closed in 2004 when its head, Dr. Besides its radiocarbon dating service the Leibniz-Laboratory is actively involved in research projects applying AMS C dates beyond the calibration dataset.
In-house research and development have been primarily directed at optimising existing sample preparation procedures, developing new ones, and extending the limits of the method.
The Stable Isotope Laboratory offers the possibility to analyse the composition of stable isotopes in carbonates (C in dissolved inorganic carbon).
Due to the fact that during physicochemical processes like evaporation the composition of stable isotopes changes, their composition can be used to reconstruct these processes or the environmental conditions in general.