An earlier study by Hedges et al.1 pointed out that the laser enrichment of carbon-14 using the selective UV photolysis of formaldehyde could improve radiocarbon dating techniques by making possible the dating of much older samples than is currently feasible, especially when combined with accelerator-based mass spectrometry to directly count 14C atoms. The enrichment factor, defined as the 14C:12C ratio in the dissociation products divided by the same ratio in the starting sample, was measured to be≳100 at 327 nm.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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