Beta Particles

Beta particles are subatomic particles, essentially electrons, that are emitted during disintegration of certain radioactive isotopes such as 3H and 14C, which are used as tracers in radioimmunoassays. Beta emitting samples are solubilized in scintillation cocktails containing fluorescent organic compounds and measured in liquid scintillation counters. Many compounds, including water, reduce the fluorescent efficiency by absorbing some of the radiation. This quenching activity can be corrected using quench correction curves or other correction mechanisms. Many liquid scintillation counters automatically correct for quench.