Assessment of oxygen plasma ashing as a pre-treatment for radiocarbon dating

Bird, Michael I., Charville-Mort, Peter D.J., Ascough, Philippa L., Wood, Rachel, Higham, Tom, and Apperley, David (2010) Assessment of oxygen plasma ashing as a pre-treatment for radiocarbon dating. Quaternary Geochronology, 5 (4). 435- 442.

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This study investigates the potential of low-temperature oxygen plasma ashing as a technique for decontaminating charcoal and wood samples prior to radiocarbon dating. Plasma ashing is demonstrated to be rapid, controllable and surface-specific. Different organic materials clearly ash at different rates, however, the ability of plasma ashing to selectively ash different organic components is limited in heterogeneous sample matrices. This is because oxidation is confined to the immediate sample surface. Comparison of radiocarbon dates obtained from identical aliquots of contaminated ancient charcoal pre-treated by acid–base–acid (ABA), acid–base-oxidation-stepped combustion (ABOx-SC) and plasma ashing suggests that the technique performs as well as the ABA pre-treatment but does not remove as much contamination as the ABOx-SC technique. Plasma ashing may be particularly useful in cases where sample size is limiting.

Item ID: 10969
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1871-1014
Keywords: radiocarbon; plasma ashing; Biochar; charcoal; pre-treatment; ABA; ABOx-SC
Date Deposited: 11 May 2010 05:44
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 60%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040699 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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