Sample preparation

The Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating has one of the best-equipped luminescence dating facilities of Europe. A generous laboratory equipped with orange safelights and two fume-cupboards is available for sample preparation. Here samples are prepared using a combination of chemical and physical methods to obtain purified quartz or K-feldspar extracts.

Luminescence measurements

For luminescence measurements we possess five Risoe TL/OSL readers, each fitted with a Sr/Y beta source. One of the readers has a single-grain attachment, allowing grain-by-grain stimulation of quartz and feldspar extracts using a green or infrared laser, respectively. Another reader can be used for pulsed stimulation and is equipped with a unique violet stimulation unit to measure quartz violet stimulated luminescence (VSL) signals. Finally, one of our readers is fitted with a radioluminescene attachment and second hotplate, allowing detection of the radioluminescence signal during beta irradiation at controlled temperatures. For bleaching experiments we use a Honle SOL2 solar simulator, and an ashing oven can be used to heat samples up to 1200°C.

Dose rate determination

Dose rates are determined using gamma-ray spectroscopy. Our Canberra broad range gamma-spectrometer is housed at the RIKILT – research institute in Wageningen. When samples are too small for gamma-spectroscopy, we use neutron activation analysis in collaboration with Delft University of Technology.