Accelerator mass spectrometry of 10Be, 14C, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, 129I

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PRIME Lab is funded by the National Science Foundation.

For Users

Prices for chemical preparation and AMS analysis

To determine the price for analysis of one nuclide in one sample, add up the relevant contributions from each category below. Items 2,3,4 are for chemical sample preparation and should be included only if samples are prepared at PRIME Lab. Items 1, 2, and 3 should be included at most once per sample submitted. Items 4, 5, and 6 should be included for each ion source target if more than one nuclide is being measured. Item 7 should be included for each analysis requested. The charge will be half of the total for samples funded by an active NSF grant. A half-price AMS rate is privided for high-level/reduced precision samples (normally applicable for for environmental and biomedical samples). A 50% surcharge will be applied for commercial samples as explained below.

1) Batch processing charge (N samples per batch)      200/N

    (per sample batch charge is $200 divided by the number
    of samples (raw or prepared) arriving at PRIME Lab in
    one shipment, to be billed under one purchase order 
    number, in addition to the other charges listed below.)

2) Physical and chemical pretreatment

  Radiocarbon (ABA treatment)                           100
  Water (less than 1000 mL)                             100
    Crushing and grinding                               110
    Separation of quartz (less than 1000 g)             350
  Soil/Sediment/Rock (leach)                             30

3) Dissolution, leaching, preconcentration, or combustion

  Radiocarbon: produce CO2 (non-biomed)                  30
  Water (less than 1000 mL)                              80
  Rock (less than 50 g)                                 140
  Soil/Sediment/Rock (leach) (less than 1000 g)         150

4) Chemical preparation of target

  Radiocarbon: produce graphite
    Archaeological, geological sample                    70
    Bio-medical sample (includes combustion)             50
  BeO,Al2O3,AgCl,CaF2,AgI (each)                        175
  BeO and Al2O3 or AgCl and AgI                         240
5) Isotope dilution measurement

  13C (by mass spectrometry)                             50
  35Cl (by accelerator mass spectrmetery)                50

6) AMS measurement

  10Be, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, 129I                          350
  Radiocarbon                                           150
  Reduced precision (10Be, 26Al, 36Cl, 129I)            175
  Reduced precison radiocarbon (Biomedical samples)     100

  (see sample size and precision table below)

7) Supplementary analyses

  Delta-13C                                              30
  Elemental analysis needed for rock 36Cl               150
  Elemental analysis needed for 26Al in quartz           50


Sample size and precision
Precision is quoted in the table below for samples at 10-12 atom/atom. You should expect poorer precision for lower level samples and better precision for higher level samples. For example, biomedical samples might be well above 10-12 atom/atom which would allow us to obtain better than even the regular precision at the reduced price if the radionuclide level is high.

Inquire about special pricing for higher or lower precision (precision is a strong function of accelerator time, our most precious commodity). The half price quoted above for AMS of reduced precision samples is intended primarily for biomedical and environmental samples.

Precision is guaranteed if adequate sample material is provided; samples will be billed at the reduced rate if regular precision cannot be obtained. We recommend that you contact us about sample requirements before submitting samples for chemical preparation. We will not guarantee quoted precision for samples that are are too small or otherwise not of appropriate quality.

Nuclide Chemical
Sample size1) Precision2)
regular precision reduced precision regular precision reduced precision
10Be BeO 1 mg 3 mg 3% 8%
14C Graphite 0.5 mg 2 mg 1% 3%
26Al Al2O3 1 mg 3 mg 7% 15%
36Cl AgCl 4 mg 10 mg 3% 8%
129I AgI 1 mg 3 mg 5% 10%

  1. Sample size is given as weight of compound. Larger sample amounts are recommended.
  2. Precision is quoted for a radionuclide to stable nuclide level of 10-12. Precision for higher ratios will be better and precision for lower ratios may be poorer.
Discounts and surcharges
NSF will subsidize 50% of all the above charges for users funded by NSF (the grant number must be specified with the purchase order). Most of the instrumentation at PRIME Lab has been purchased by grants from the National Science Foundation. We have not included the costs associated with this equipment in the above prices. In keeping with NSF notice number 122, a 50% surcharge will be applied for commercial users to cover amortization of instrumentation and to bring prices up to the level of that charged by private companies for similar services.

Large samples

Contact PRIME Lab for prices for physical and chemical preparation of raw samples that have sizes that are larger than those given in the price sheet. For custom sample preparation services not listed, a quotation will be provided based on cost of materials and our labor rate of $50 per hour.

Free QA/QC samples

PRIME Lab wishes to maintain the highest quality measurements. We will select occasional large projects for which we will measure replicate samples at no charge. We need to ensure that representative aliquots are taken from a homogeneous mixture. After the sample is measured, the user must supply the sample identity (and former result if measured at another laboratory).

Joint proposals

If you have a large project, contact us about the possibility of submitting joint proposals to the NSF. If the funds for AMS analyses are awarded directly to Purdue University, you will avoid overhead costs at your home institution.

Return of samples

Sample charges cover reasonable costs of returning unused sample material. Unless requested otherwise, we will normally return sample material 6-12 months after the AMS measurement. We will store used sample holders indefinitely. Let us know if you want us to dispose of samples rather than return them.

Backgrounds and blanks

Backgrounds are determined by AMS analysis of "blanks", which are samples that are known to have negligible radionuclide content. Our background for 14C is typically 45,000 years B.P. Our detection limits for the other nuclides for a clean ion source are typically 10Be: 5x10-15, 26Al: 10x10-15, 36Cl: 0.5x10-15, and 129I: 20x10-15. The blank value for 129I probably results from natural 129I in the blank sample. We will run our own "machine blanks" every 5-10 unknown samples. If we prepare your raw samples, we will prepare "chemistry blanks" along with the samples and measure them at no additional cost to you. If you prepare your own samples, then you should submit chemistry blanks (normal charges will apply). We will measure all chemistry blanks as unknowns and will subtract the measured values for the machine blanks (except for 129I) before reporting results to you.

Example prices

Radiocarbon in wood or carbonate (10 sample batch)

  Batch charge 200/10 = 20
  Pretreatment         100
  Combustion            30
  Graphite              70
  AMS                  150
  Delta-13C             30

  Total                    $400 per sample
  Total with NSF discount: $200 per sample

10Be in quartz (5 sample batch)

  Batch charge         40
  Grinding            110
  Quartz separation   350
  Dissolution         150
  Target preparation  175
  AMS                 350

  Total                   $1175 per sample
  Total with NSF discount: $587 per sample

10Be and 26Al in quartz (10 sample batch)

  Batch charge         20
  Grinding            110
  Quartz separation   350
  Dissolution         150
  Target prep (both)  240
  AMS (10Be)          350
  AMS (26Al)          350

  Total                    $1,570 per sample for two nuclides
  Total with NSF discount:   $785 per sample for two nuclides

14C biomedical sample  (100 sample batch, 3% precision)

  Batch processing             2
  Graphite production         50
  AMS (special price for 3%)  75

  Total                     $127 per sample