Two of the Risø instruments used for OSL dating in the UOW laboratory (top left).
Grains of quartz or feldspar are mounted on stainless steel or aluminium discs and loaded into the instrument.
All rooms are fitted with safelights, similar to a photographic darkroom.
The OSL dating laboratory is located in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences and is headed by Bert Roberts and Zenobia Jacobs.
This technique, as thermoluminescence, was originally developed in the 1950s and 1960s to date fired archaeological materials, like ceramics (Aitken, 1985).
Ensuing research in the 1970s documented that marine and other sediments with a prior sunlight exposure of hours to days were suitable for thermoluminescence dating (Wintle and Huntley, 1980).
For single-grain analysis, individual grains are deposited in holes drilled into custom-made discs and a focussed laser beam is shone into each hole (photos: Risø National Laboratory and Bert Roberts).
Thank you for visting the Utah State University Luminescence Laboratory homepage! We currently have two RISO TL/OSL Readers and one with a single-grain attachment.