Accelerator Mass Spectrometry And Geochronology Facility
Inter-University Accelerator Center (IUAC) is an autonomous research centre of University Grants Commission (UGC), focused on Ion accelerator-based research in basic sciences. In 2004-05 IUAC started developing Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) facility for 10Be and 26Al radionuclides by upgrading the15UD Pelletron Accelerator. It was the first AMS facility for 10Be and 26Al in the country. This beamline is now being extended towards the measurement of 36Cl.
Later, realizing the need of 14C AMS dating within the country and with the financial support from Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), IUAC established AMS facility based on a dedicated 500kV Ion accelerator in 2015. This AMS facility is also capable of performing 10Be and 26Al measurements. The AMS beamline with 15UD Pelletron accelerator is now being utilized for 36Cl AMS measurements after suitable modifications.
Further, MoES entrusted IUAC with the responsibility to develop National Geochronology Facility (NGF) with financial support for five years project (2015-2020). This is a special initiative of the ministry to facilitate the Earth Science community of the country with the much-needed up-to-date modern equipment and resources to carry out cutting-edge research in the field of isotope geochemistry and geochronology in the country. Advancements in modern trends of research have established the importance and role of isotopic composition (stable and radiogenic) of geological material in a better understanding of the geological processes in time and space. High precision isotopic measurements require equally high sophisticated instrumentation and special laboratory conditions. Not all universities and research institutions can afford to buy and maintain such costly instruments. Moreover, a single instrument can neither date geological materials that span from 100s of years to millions and billions of years, nor can all isotopic systems be measured to the required precision. This venture aims to provide such high-end facilities including sample preparation and basic geochemical and mineralogical characterization to Indian geoscientists under a single roof with the hope that this would give the much-needed impetus to Geoscience research in India. This facility is equipped with the latest instruments for carrying out various front-line research studies in the fields of climate change, paleoclimate studies, global carbon cycle, oceanographic parameters, polar (Antarctica/Arctic) research programs, archaeology, biomedicine and history of art, etc.