The DRILL is equipped to conduct all current techniques for luminescence sample preparation and analysis for geological, geomorphological, and archeological materials, primarily targeting quartz and/or feldspar.  The most commonly used approaches in luminescence dating are listed below. If you are interested in a preparation or analytical approach that is not listed, or if you have questions, please contact us. Please note that the DRILL does not accept samples without prior arrangement with the lab director, Amanda Keen-Zebert.  You may contact her at  

Multi-grain aliquot discs on the carousel that holds the discs within the Riso TL/OSL ReaderPreparation:

  • Fine grained sediments

  • Coarse grained sediments

  • Artifacts

  • Solid objects, for example, rock. 


  • Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL)

  • Infrared Stimulated Luminescence (IRSL)

  • Multigrain

  • Single grain

  • Pulsed-diode

  • Linearly modulation

  • Thermoluminescence (TL)

  • Dose rate measurement


DA-20 Riso TL/OSL Reader with single grain attachment.Daybreak α counters

The configuration of TL/OSL readers varies by maker, but typically consist of a photon detector, usually a photomultiplier tube, fitted with detection filters; an irradiator or radiation source, a heater plate, and a light stimulation source fitted with emission filters, for example blue LEDs for multigrain quartz stimulation, Infrared LEDs for multigrain feldspar, and lasers for single grains.      

Analytical equipment and capabilities at the DRILL

The DRILL operates in a dark-room facility equipped to conduct all necessary sample preparations including coarse and fine grained quartz or feldspar separations of sediments or solid objects. Analytical equipment to conduct luminescence measurements includes:

  • Two OSL/IRSL  DA-20 Risø TL/OSL Readers both equipped with the latest capabilities including green and IR laser single-grain dating attachments, pulsed-diode and linearly modulated addition capabilities for both blue and IR optical stimulation, and automated beta (Sr-90) and mini X-Ray Varian VF-50JWS (max. 50 kV, 1 mA) irradiation attachments. 

  • One Multi- or single-aliquot OSL/IRSL Daybreak 2200 Reader with an embedded irradiation attachment and a beta (Sr-90) source.

  • One multi-aliquot TL and IRSL Daybreak 1150 Reader.

Supporting equipment includes two automated stand-alone evacuable alpha (Am-241) and beta (Sr-90) irradiators. 

Dose rates are measured by thick source alpha counting with five operational Daybreak 582 alpha counters for U and Th content, and K content is determined through ICP-AES at external laboratories.