Chronos Radiocarbon Facility

pic of lab

Analytical CapabilitIes

1. IRMS for Stable isotopes

Elementar Isoprime PrecisION isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) for precise determination of N-15 and C-13

2. AMS Radiocarbon Dating

Ionplus Mini Carbon Dating System (MICADAS): our accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) for measuring C-14 in graphitised samples. C-14 is measured to date the carbon in samples from the last 50,000 years. 

3. Dendrochronology

A well equipped dendrochronology laboratory plus access to a comprehensive archive of ancient New Zealand swamp Kauri.

Sample Preparation

1. Ionplus Advanced Graphitisation Equipment (AGE3): this is a 7-sample batch reactor that combusts the organic carbon in chemically pretreated samples, then converts them to graphite using heat and pressurised hydrogen. The resulting graphite powder is pressed into aluminium stubs that act as targets (“cathodes") for measuring C-14 on the MICADAS.

2. Ionplus Carbonate handling system (CHS2), an autosampling batch processing unit for converting inorganic carbonates to carbon dioxide prior to graphitisation on the AGE3.

3. Chemical pre-treatment laboratory for preparing of wood, sediment, charcoal and other materials for AGE3 graphitisation prior to analysis on the MICADAS AMS.  

4. Workshop for wood pre-processing with a sliding panel saw, band saw, belt sander and shot blasting cabinet. 


Sample Submission, Costs & Training

Usually we accept samples for service analysis, although for certain projects it may be appropriate for researchers to visit the laboratory to be trained in chemical pre-treatment or to weigh samples. 

For enquiries about collaboration with the facility, or service analysis, please contact the Research Director Tim Barrows