Photostimulated luminescence applicable to pre-screening of potassium-rich phases in chondritic breccias

  • Tatsunori Yokoyama
  • Keiji Misawa
  • Osamu Okano
  • Haruka Minowa
  • Takaaki Fukuoka


The identification of alkali-rich components in extraterrestrial materials along with their separation from other constituents is indispensable for subsequent cosmochemical and isotopic studies. This paper presents a simple pre-screening method for such materials by autoradiography using imaging plates (IPs), which is applicable to identification of mm-sized samples containing ca. 30 µg of potassium in the Yamato-74442 chondrite. The detection limit of IPs was ~1 mBq of 40K under 49 days exposure. The method provides an opportunity to screen meteorite materials non-destructively and to inexpensively check potassium-rich areas and are suitable for the 40K–40Ca and 40K–40Ar (39Ar–40Ar) age determinations.


Imaging plate 40K decay K-rich rock fragments Chondritic meteorites 



We are grateful to the National Institute of Polar Research for providing the Y-74442 meteorite specimens. TY wants to thank H. Kusuno for her help during the course of IP exposure experiments at the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research. We thank M.J. Tappa for correcting and refining the English usage. Constructive comments from two anonymous reviewers improved and clarified the manuscript. This work was partly supported by funds from the NIPR Research Program (KP-6) and by the cooperative program (I02) from the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and by the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from The Japan Science Society.

Supplementary material

10967_2016_4846_MOESM1_ESM.eps (3.6 mb)
Autoradiographs of control samples derived from the dry down process of the KCl solution: a1–c7 (K = 12–780 µg) and KCl crystals: C01–C12 (K = 524–1520 µg) after 210 hs exposure at ambient temperature with/without shielding: a the IP was put in a cassette without shielding, b the IP was put in a cassette sandwiched between 50 mm-thick lead bricks. Once specifying reading areas of samples and background (green circles for control samples and red circles for backgrounds [BG]), IP-volume was derived from the volume of the quantity of material in the image feature after the background intensity has been removed. The IP-response was calculated by dividing IP-volume by area (number of pixels quantified in the image). Background radiations if 50 mm-thick lead shields were used, generally decreased from 104–3.75 IP responses/day. The results demonstrate that we could detect the radiation resulting from 40K decay in the reagent samples containing >50 µg of potassium (i.e. >2 mBq) with this type of shielding and exposure time. In order to detect samples with ≤30 µg of potassium, more shielding and longer exposure could be required. Supplementary material 1 (EPS 3682 kb)
10967_2016_4846_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatsunori Yokoyama
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Keiji Misawa
    • 1
    • 4
  • Osamu Okano
    • 5
  • Haruka Minowa
    • 6
  • Takaaki Fukuoka
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Polar ScienceSOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies)TachikawaJapan
  2. 2.National Museum of Nature and ScienceTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Tono Geoscience Center, Sector of Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste ManagementJapan Atomic Energy AgencyTokiJapan
  4. 4.National Institute of Polar ResearchTachikawaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Earth SciencesOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  6. 6.Radioisotope Research CenterThe Jikei University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  7. 7.Geo-Environmental Science Research DepartmentRissho UniversityKumagayaJapan

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