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Confocal Micro-XRF


The excitation radiation is focussed by a polycapillary lens (depending on the x-ray source either a full- or a half lens) onto a sample. The X-rays excite atoms, thus emitting characteristic radiation. This radiation is then transported with the help of a second polycapillary (half-)lens onto an energy-dispersive detector. The foci of the two optics in the excitation and detection channel overlap and form the probing volume, from which fluorescence and scattered radiation is obtained. By moving the sample into this probing volume a 3D image of the sample's elemental distribution can be obtained with a lateral and depth resolution of ~ 30 µm.

The technique is especially suited for low density samples, as the information depth must be large compared to the probing volume size in order to image 3D objects. The two main application fields have been up until now archaeometry and biology, both additionally benefitting from the non-destructiveness of the technique.

While the reconstruction of depth profiling measurements has been alreay developed in our group, the present research goal is the quantification of full 3D maps of heterogeneous material.

Confocal micro XRF mapping

3D micro XRF-mapping of a USB stick

3D Micro-XRF mapping of a USB stick. The animated picture shows the 80 virtual layers through the sample.


contact: Ioanna Mantouvalou

relevant publications:

Wolfgang Malzer and Birgit Kanngießer, Spectrochimica Acta B 60 /9-10, 1334-1341 (2005).

I. Mantouvalou, W. Malzer, I. Schaumann, L. Lühl, R. Dargel, C. Vogt, and B. Kanngießer, Anal. Chem. 80, 819-826, (2008)

I. Mantouvalou, T. Wolff, C. Seim, V. Stoytschew, W. Malzer, and B. Kanngießer, Anal. Chem., 86 (19), 9774-9780 (2014)

T. Lachmann, G. van der Snickt, M. Haschke, and I. Mantouvalou, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 31, 1989-1997 (2016)



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