PIXE - Particle Induced X-Ray Emission

PIXE is a nuclear analytical technique, ideal for trace element detection and quantification. It is the most commonly used method for the bulk analysis of geological, biological, environmental and cultural heritage samples.

The interaction of an ion beam with a material can result in the ionization of the atoms of the material. PIXE is based on the detection of the X rays following the ionization of the atoms of the sample. These X rays are a unique characteristic of the interacting elements and their detection enables the identification of the target elements.

PIXE is a least-destructive technique and one of the few that provides multi-elemental quantitative analysis, since the determination of the concentrations of any element from sodium to uranium is achieved through a single measurement.  In addition, PIXE is ideal for trace element analysis as it is characterized of high sensitivity, which in certain cases can reach levels of the order of a few parts per million (ppm).

In RUBION microanalysis and elemental mapping in the scale of a few μm are also possible. The accuracy and the sensitivity of the measurements are enhanced by using a high-performance Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) that combines high energy resolution (129 eV at 5.9 keV) and large detection area (70 mm²).

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