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See also specific advantages for Archaeology, Art History, Environmental Science and Biological Tracer Studies Small sample sizes do have their disadvantages too: greater mobility within deposits and more difficulty in controlling contaminants.
The best conventional counters can still achieve higher precision and lower backgrounds than an AMS system assuming a suitably large pure sample can be found.
Atoms are sputtered from the sample by cesium ions which are produced on a hot spherical ionizer and focused to a small spot on the sample.
Negative ions produced on the surface of the sample are extracted from the ion source and sent down the evacuated beam line towards the first magnet.
The measurement of radiocarbon by mass spectrometry is very difficult because its concentration is less than one atom in 1,000,000,000,000.
The accelerator is used to help remove ions that might be confused with radiocarbon before the final detection.
Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is a technique for measuring long-lived radionuclides that occur naturally in our environment.The chemical pre-treatment depends on the type of sample.As an example bones are treated as follows: Several of these procedures are done in an automated continuous flow system.The carbon dioxide is collected in a glass ampoule or converted to graphite for radiocarbon measurement on the AMS system.-counting method are the much greater sensitivity of the measurement.