Nondestructive heavy ion activation analysis has been used to determine the carbon content in various NBS SRM steel samples
with a 7.0MeV6Li+ beam. The reaction12C(6Li, αn)13N allows for carbon analysis with the only possible interference being beryllium,9Be(6Li, 2n)13N. Under interference-free conditions, and employing a post-irradiation etch, the detection limit for carbon analysis in steel
was 5 ppm.