Finnish Museum of Natural History

Analytical services

The Laboratory of Chronology provides a multitude of analytical services based on natural scientific methods. Radiocarbon, stable isotopic and luminescence techniques provide tools to quantify and characterize natural and manmade samples ranging from last glacial era to Anthropocene. Based on analytical services, the laboratory is interested in developing new analytical multidisciplinary tools and research projects through joint collaborations.

Radiocarbon determinations are performed through Radiocarbon Analytics Finland (RACAF) organization merging together the radiocarbon expertise within the University of Helsinki. Sample management, chemical pretreatments, conversions to carbon dioxide (Elemental Analyzer Flash 2000NC or acid release) and to carbon (Helsinki Adaptive Sample prEparation line – HASE) are performed at the Laboratory of Chronology and Accelerator Mass Spectrometric (AMS) analyses are provided by the Helsinki AMS facility at the Department of Physics. Particularly, biobased carbon content determinations using radiocarbon method are available for liquid and solid materials (fuels, plastics, bioproducts) following the ASTM D6866 standard.   

The laboratory hosts two IRMS instruments, a Thermo Scientific Delta V Advantage and a Delta V Plus, with peripheral equipment and provides light stable isotope determinations on various sample matrices. A strong research focus on past tree-ring and bone material has enabled state-of-the-art development of analytics for wood cellulose and bone organic and inorganic fractions, in particular. IRMS analyses are also used to characterize the radiocarbon samples. We offer stable isotope analyses mostly for scientific research projects. Collaborative research is prioritized, but time permitting the laboratory provides stable isotope analytical services also for non-collaborative research and non-academic customers. We accept only natural abundance samples for analysis, i.e. isotopically labelled substances are not accepted for analysis. For more information and instructions for samples, see stable isotope determinations.

The laboratory provides also Optically-Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) analyses by using Risø TL/OSL DA-20 reader for quartz-containing bricks, pottery, burned rocks and sediments. Sampling of material should be performed with avoiding light and heat exposure, as the method is sensitive to them. Background radiation measurement of the original location of the sample can be performed with a hand-held ICX Identifinder NGH spectrometer. Customers are advised to contact the laboratory before sampling.

For analyses and prices, please, see 

Price_list_master_Laboratory of Chronology
Price_list_IRMS_Laboratory of Chronology

For more information and orders, please, contact

Ordering form, radiocarbon and OSL measurements

Person in charge of the page: 
Markku Oinonen