Electronic Spin Resonance

This line of research is focused on Electronic Spin Resonance (ESR), a highly versatile dating method that can be applied to a wide range of materials, the most widely used being tooth enamel and the optically bleached quartz grains extracted from sediment. Furthermore, it enables the direct dating of fossils, unlike other techniques such as luminescence, by which the age of the archaeological matrix is often determined. The applicable time range is very large depending on the material and/or paramagnetic centers used. There is a lower limit of ~10 ka and an upper limit that can reach the Miocene.

It is a paleodosimetric method in which the sample is considered as a dosimeter which can register and, subsequently, restore the absorbed dose of natural radioactivity that the sample has been subjected to previously. By detecting and quantifying the electrical charges trapped in the crystal defects (paramagnetic centers) of the material that we want to date, and by reconstructing the annual dose received by the sample, we can calculate an ESR age.

This line of research includes:

  • Methodological development of the ESR dating of optically bleached quartz grains and feldspars extracted from sediment
  • Methodological development of the ESR dating of fossil teeth
  • Dosimetry of Quaternary materials
  • Development of the potential of Q-band ESR spectroscopy and its possible uses within the field of dating