A Performance Comparison of Nine Selected Liquid Scintillation Cocktails

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In the selection of a suitable liquid scintillation (LSC) cocktail, the primary aspects taken into consideration are overall cocktail performance and specific laboratory needs. Overall performance of 9 selected, commercially available LSC cocktails was assessed by studying parameters of importance for the requirements of the Laboratory for Low Level Radioactivity Measurements of SCK•CEN: sample load capacity, sample compatibility, influence of sample load on counting efficiency, background count rate, figure of merit, quench resistance, sample stability and alpha/beta separation characteristics. The cocktails tested were EcoscintA, Insta Gel Plus, OptiPhase Hisafe3, OptiPhase Trisafe, Ready Gel, SafeScint 1:1, Ultima Gold, Ultima Gold LLT, and Ultima Gold XR. For the data acquisition a Packard TriCarb Model 1900CA and a Quantulus 1220 liquid scintillation counter is used. All samples were prepared in either 20 mL low potassium, borosilicate glass vials or 20 mL high density, polyethylene vials. The aim of this study was to determine a single cocktail that best suits all measurement requirements of the liquid scintillation laboratory at SCK•CEN for the determination of low levels of radioactivity in biological and environmental samples. As a conclusion, Optiphase HiSafe 3 was confirmed to be the optimal cocktail for the laboratory.


Original languageEnglish
PublisherSCK CEN
Number of pages132
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Publication series

NameSCK•CEN Reports
PublisherStudiecentrum voor Kernenergie


  • liquid scintillation cocktail performance comparison

ID: 189556