Laser Spectroscopy for Monitoring of Radiocarbon in Atmospheric Samples

Guillaume Genoud, Johannes Lehmuskoski, Steven Bell, Vesa Palonen, Markku Oinonen, Mari Leena Koskinen-Soivi, Matti Reinikainen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    In-situ monitoring of radiocarbon emissions is challenging due to the lack of a suitable method for sensitive online detection of this isotope. Here we report on a complete system for automatized continuous on-site monitoring of radiocarbon gaseous emissions from nuclear facilities. By combining radiocarbon detection using mid-infrared cavity ring-down spectroscopy and an advanced sampling system, an elevated amount of radiocarbon in an atmospheric-like gas matrix was detected. Radiocarbon was detected in the form of 14CO2 after extraction of the carbon dioxide from the air sample. The system is also able to discriminate between radiocarbon in organic or inorganic molecular form by converting 14CH4 into 14CO2. This work lays the groundwork for further use of this technology in nuclear facilities for online on-site monitoring of radioactive gaseous emissions as well as future work on in-situ monitoring of atmospheric radiocarbon.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12315-12320
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnalytical Chemistry
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (292756) and is part of the Academy of Finland Flagship Programme, Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN), decision 320168. It was also funded through the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) project “16ENV54–MetroDecom” and the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) project “16ENV09–MetroDecom 2”. EMRP and EMPIR are cofinanced by the Participating States and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.


    Dive into the research topics of 'Laser Spectroscopy for Monitoring of Radiocarbon in Atmospheric Samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this